Francesca De Luca is a researcher at the UOS of Bari of Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection (IPSP-CNR), and she is involved in the following research areas: 1) functional characterization of effector genes involved in plant-nematode interaction (hsp90, endoglucanases, retinoland fatty acid -binding protein or FAR-1, major sperm protein-1 and collagen), localization of transcripts by in situ hybridization and gene silencing in order to identify the function of each transcript during parasitism; 2) molecular identification of plant parasitic and entomopathogenic nematodes (Xiphinema, Longidorus, Pratylenchus, Steinernema and Heterorhabditis) from all over the world by using as molecular markers regions of ribosomal DNA (18S and 28S rDNA and ITS), the gene for the mitochondrial COI and nuclear gene for hsp90; 3) biodiversity of plant parasitic and entomopathogenic nematodes through evolution and phylogenetic analyses; 4) diversity of nematofauna as bioindicator of soils with different health status by using metagenomic approaches. More recently she is involved as partner in a European project, aiming to the molecular identification of plant parasitic nematodes associated with different olive cultivation. Within these lines of research has established several research collaborations and has participated in several national and international projects. Dr. De Luca carries out his experimental research both in Italy and abroad (California, Bulgaria, Hungary and Lebanon). She is also involved in teaching and training of students and fellows.