Head of Laboratory, Senior Researcher
The main research area of the Laboratory of Plant Pathology is fundamental research and innovations on plant disease causing microorganisms (fungi, ovomycetes, bacteria, phytoplasmas, viruses) found in natural, agricultural and forest ecosystems, in order to deepen knowledge about the prevention, management and control of economically and ecologically important plant species.
The research aims to i) investigate the causes of the spread of pathogens, understand the mechanisms by which pathogens enter plants and affect their resistance; ii) to study the evolutionary processes between host plants and pathogens in order to adapt the mechanisms of interaction and use them to develop more effective control strategies; (iii) apply innovative research to the development and implementation of new technologies for a better control of plant diseases to maintain ecological balance.
Research performed in the laboratory is mainly focused on applied plant pathology: identification and/or isolation of phytopathogens, classification and identification, determination of species diversity, assessment of the prevalence (spread) of pathogens and the damage caused, genetic studies of pathogen populations, studies of biological properties of microorganisms, pathogenecology and epidemiology, determination of plant resistance to pathogen(s), assessment of resistance of phytopathogens to chemical and biocontrol preparations, and biological control studies (removal or management of native and exotic (introduced, invasive) plant communities.
The laboratory accumulates and maintains a collection of pure cultures of microorganisms consisting of more than 6000 strains.