Paolo Boccacci

My research and technical support are mainly focused on the grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) and are developed on four main areas:

Genotype-environment interaction. The whole genome sequencing of three ‘Nebbiolo’ clones is the starting point for the study of the interactions between genotype and climatic conditions of cultivation, that define the wine terroir. The research is carried out using agronomic, transcriptomics (RNA-seq) and epigenomics (BS-seq) approaches, in order to link gene expression profiles between three clones and four different cultural environments. In parallel, the interaction between genotype and environment is also studied in vitro on ‘Sangiovese’ and ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’, in order to characterize the plasticity of somatic embryogenesis and study the molecular mechanisms underlying this process (the study of genes WOX in Arabidopsis plants genetically transformed).

Plant-pathogen interaction. The study of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses is conducted through transcriptomics (microarray, RNA-seq e qRT-PCR), small RNAs (miRNAs and vsiRNA) and epigenomics analysis, with particular attention to major grape viruses (GRSPaV and GFkV) and phytoplasmas (Flavescence dorée) and/or under water stress conditions.

Genotyping and sanitary status of clones. Identification of molecular markers SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism), in order to develop techniques for genotyping using Taqman method in order to discriminate clones. Diagnosis of major virus and phytoplasma with serological and molecular techniques.

Genetic biodiversity. Genetic characterization, through the use of microsatellite markers or SSR (simple sequence repeat) of grapevine from Piedmont, Italy and other Counties, for the purpose of: fingerprinting, synonyms and homonyms identification, pedigree relationships and genetic structure of cultivated and wild germplasm, in order to recovering and preserving grape biodiversity.

During my PhD and postdoc grants at the University of Turin, I coordinated and carried out research about the genetic characterization of hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) germplasm using microsatellite markers, concerning: fingerprinting, recovery and preservation of biodiversity, population genetics, origin and spread of cultivars, construction of linkage maps for QTL (quantitative trait loci) associated with resistance and agronomic traits


Articles and book chapters since 2008

  • 2018 - Dissecting interplays between Vitis vinifera L. and grapevine virus B (GVB) under field conditions - Chitarra W., Cuozzo D., Ferrandino A., Secchi F., Palmano S., Perrone I., Boccacci P., Pagliarani C., Gribaudo I., Mannini F., Gambino G. - Molecular Plant Pathology , 19: 2651-2666
  • 2018 - miRVIT: A novel miRNA database and its application to uncover vitis responses to flavescence dorée infection - Chitarra W., Pagliarani C., Abbà S., Boccacci P., Birello G., Rossi M., Palmano S., Marzachì C., Perrone I., Gambino G. - Frontiers in plant science, volume 9
  • 2017 - Grapevine Grafting: Scion Transcript Profiling and Defense-Related Metabolites Induced by Rootstocks - Chitarra W., Perrone I., Avanzato C.G., Minio A., Boccacci P., Santini D., Gilardi G., Siciliano I., Gullino M.L., Delledonne M., Mannini F., Gambino G. - Frontiers in plant science, 8: 654
  • 2017 - Ozone Improves the Aromatic Fingerprint of White Grapes - Rio Segade S., Vilanova M., Giacosa S., Perrone I., Chitarra W., Pollon M., Torchio F., Boccacci P., Gambino G., Gerbi V., Rolle L. - Scientific reports, volume 7
  • 2017 - Whole-genome sequencing and SNV genotyping of ‘Nebbiolo’ (Vitis vinifera L.) clones - Gambino G., Dal Molin A., Boccacci P., Minio A., Chitarra W., Avanzato C.G., Tononi P., Perrone I., Raimondi S., Schneider A., Pezzotti M., Mannini F., Gribaudo I., Delledonne M. - Scientific reports, volume 7
  • 2017 - Cultivar-specific gene modulation in Vitis vinifera: Analysis of the promoters regulating the expression of WOX transcription factors - Boccacci P., Mela A., Pavez Mina C., Chitarra W., Perrone I., Gribaudo I., Gambino G. - Scientific reports, 7: 45670
  • 2016 - Grapevine-virus-environment interactions: An intriguing puzzle to solve - Perrone I., Chitarra W., Boccacci P., Gambino G. - New Phytologist ,
  • 2016 - L’analisi del DNA svela l’origine dei vitigni. Ecco come sono nati Ruché ed altri aromatici piemontesi - Schneider A., Ruffa P., Raimondi S., Boccacci P., Abbà S. - Oicce Times , 68: 25-30
  • 2016 - Identification and characterization of Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris populations in north-western Italy - Schneider A., Boccacci P., Ruffa P., Torello Marinoni D., Cavallo L., Festari I., Rotti G., Raimondi S. - Vitis , 54: 223-225
  • 2016 - Genetic mapping and QTL analysis in European hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) - Beltramo C., Valentini N., Portis E., Torello Marinoni D., Boccacci P., Sandoval Prando M.A., Botta R. - Molecular Breeding , 36: 1-17
  • 2016 - Novel functional microRNAs from virus-free and infected Vitis vinifera plants under water stress - Pantaleo V., Vitali M., Boccacci P., Miozzi L., Cuozzo D., Chitarra W., Mannini F., Lovisolo C., Gambino G. - Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group), 6: 20167
  • 2016 - The key role of ‘Moscato bianco’ and ‘Malvasia aromatica di Parma’ in the parentage of traditional aromatic grape varieties - Ruffa P., Raimondi S., Boccacci P., Abbà S., Schneider A. - Tree Genetics & Genomes , volume 12
  • 2015 - A multidisciplinary approach to enhance the conservation and use of hazelnut Corylus avellana L. genetic resources - Bacchetta L., Rovira M., Tronci C., Aramini M., Drogoudi P., Silva A.P., Solar A., Avanzato D., Botta R., Valentini N., Boccacci P. - Genetic Resources And Crop Evolution , 62: 649-663
  • 2015 - In silico mining, characterization and cross-species transferability of EST-SSR markers for European hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) - Boccacci P., Beltramo C, Sandoval Prando M.A., Lembo A., Sartor C., Mehlenbacher S.A., Botta R., Torello Marinoni D. - Molecular Breeding , 35: 1-14
  • 2015 - Studio per l’individuazione dei portinnesti più adatti alla coltivazione del Gaglioppo - Mannini F., Schneider A., Gambino G., Boccacci P., Santini D., Chitarra W., Perrone I. - Librandi S.p.A., Cirò M. (KR) (ITA),
  • 2014 - Investigation on clonal variants within the hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) cultivar ‘Tonda Gentile delle Langhe’ - Valentini N., Calizzano F., Boccacci P., Botta R. - Scientia Horticulturae , 165:303-310
  • 2013 - Molecular and morphological diversity of on-farm hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) landraces from southern Europe and their role in the origin and diffusion of cultivated germplasm - Boccacci P., Aramini M., Valentini N., Bacchetta L., Rovira M., Drogoudi P., Silva A.P., Solar A., Calizzano F., Erdoğan V., Cristofori V., Ciarmiello L.F., Contessa C., Ferreira J.J., Marra F.P., Botta R. - Tree Genetics & Genomes, 9:1465-1480
  • 2013 - Hydrogen peroxide accumulation and transcriptional changes in grapevines recovered from flavescence dorée disease - Gambino G., Boccacci P., Margaria P., Palmano S., Gribaudo I. - Phytopathology, 103:776-784
  • 2013 - Nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite markers to assess genetic diversity and evolution in hazelnut species, hybrids and cultivars - Bassil N., Boccacci P., Botta R., Postman J., Mehlenbacher S.A. - Genetic resources and crop evolution, 60:543-568
  • 2012 - Co-evolution between Grapevine rupestris stem pitting associated virus and Vitis vinifera L. leads to decreased defence responses and increased transcription of genes related to photosynthesis - Gambino G., Cuozzo D., Fasoli M., Pagliarani C., Vitali M., Boccacci P., Pezzotti M., Mannini F. - Journal of Experimental Botany, 63:5919-5933
  • 2012 - Co-evolution between Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus and Vitis vinifera L. leads to decreased defence responses and increased transcription of genes related to photosynthesis. - Gambino G., Cuozzo D., Fasoli M., Pagliarani C., Vitali M., Boccacci P., Pezzotti M., Mannini F. - JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY, 63:5919-5933
  • 2012 - Genetic traceability of Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti musts and wines using nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite markers - Boccacci P., Akkak A., Torello Marinoni D., Gerbi V., Schneider A. - European Food Research & Technology, 235:439-446
  • 2011 - Characterization of expression dynamics of WOX homeodomain transcription factors during somatic embryogenesis in Vitis viniferaEmbryogenesis In Vitis Vinifera. - Gambino G., Minuto M., Boccacci P., Perrone I., Vallania R., Gribaudo I. - Journal Of Experimental Botany (53988J0), 62: 1089-1101
  • 2010 - Transgene silencing in grapevines transformed with GFLV resistance genes: analysis of variable expression of transgene, siRNAs production and cytosine methylation - Gambino G., Perrone I., Carra A., Chitarra W., Boccacci P., Torello Marinoni D., Barberis M., Maghuly F., Laimer M., Gribaudo I. - Transgenic Research, 19:17-27
  • 2009 - Characterization of T-DNA insertions in transgenic grapevines obtained by Agrobacterium -mediated transformation - Gambino G., Chitarra W., Maghuly F., Laimer M., Boccacci P., Torello Marinoni D., Gribaudo I. - Molecular Breeding, 24:305-320
  • 2009 - Molecular characterization of wild grape populations from north western Italy and their genetic relationship with cultivated varieties - Schneider A., Torello Marinoni D., Raimondi S., Boccacci P., Gambino G. - Acta Horticulturae , 827:211-216