Flavescence dorée (FD) is the main problem of viticulture in Southern Europe and the phytoplasma that causes it, is included in the European list of quarantine organisms. The disease is a real threat to the Piedmont wine-growing areas. At the moment there is no genetic resistance to FD since all the cultivars show different degrees of susceptibility to the disease. The main purpose of this project is to identify the plant’s mechanisms in response to phytoplasma infection by: i) integration of genetic data obtained through Next Generation Sequencing techniques; ii) validation of the biological role of the identified genes, using Arabidospis thaliana mutants in a ‘reverse genetics’ approach. The genes whose function will be effectively confirmed will be the indispensable material to cross the new frontiers of genetic manipulation, such as the  genome editing. The long-term goal is to identify the target genes necessary for the creation of resistant / FD tolerant grapevine genotypes, which can be integrated into a sustainable strategy to contain phytoplasma infections.

Research staff

Research activity

  • Production defense and biosafety