Specialized metabolites in plants
Plant metabolism is usually differentiated into primary and secondary metabolism. Secondary metabolites (also known as natural products, phytochemicals or specialized metabolites) underpin important plant traits (e.g. resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, nutritional quality and flavour).
Plant- Microbe Interactions
Research in the lab focuses on endophytes-bacteria and fungi that live inter- and intracellularly in plants without inducing pathogenic symptoms and interact with the host biochemically and genetically.
Microbial degradation of organophosphate and carbamate insecticides in soil: genetic mechanisms and biotechnological exploitation
Microbial degradation constitutes the main process controlling the environmental dissipation of organophosphate and carbamate soil insecticides/nematicides.
Microbial degradation of pesticides contained in wastewaters from fruit-packaging plants: metabolic pathways, genetic mechanisms and potential applications
Postharvest treatment of fruits involves drenching or spraying with fungicides like thiabendazole, imazalil, ortho-phenylphenol and preservatives like diphenylamine and ethoxyquin.
Biodepuration systems for the decontamination of pesticide contaminated wastewaters from on-farm and off -farm activities
Point source contamination accounts for more than 60% of the contamination of natural water resources with pesticides.
Toxicity of pesticides on soil microbes: new risk assessment procedures for standardized risk assessment
Toxicity of pesticides onto non target organisms is an indispensable part of the pesticide regulatory framework.
Elucidation of novel pesticide catabolic enzymes using functional metagenomics
Functional metagenomics constitute a powerful molecular tool which has facilitated the isolation of novel enzymes with high biotechnological interest.
Phyllosphere: interactions and responses of epiphytic microbes
Phyllosphere constitutes a harsh environment for microbes. Recent studies showed that the epiphytic bacterial and fungal community are quite diverse and carry significant functional traits like nitrogen fixation, methanol utilization and degradation of organic pollutants.
Basic processes driving the environmental fate of pesticides in soil
Pesticides are common contaminants of natural water resources. After its introduction in soil pesticides dissipation is controlled by basic processes including degradation, biotic or abiotic, adsorption, volatilization and leaching.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: Their ecological role, function and diversity in agricultural and non agricultural ecosystems
Plant symbiosis with AM fungi is very extensive in nature, most higher plants being mycorrhizal, and it is known to improve plant growth and nutrition, particularly regarding phosphorus but also to ameliorate drought stress and provide protection from pathogens.