Stefano Ghignone

Stefano Ghignone is Research Scientist at Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante (IPSP-CNR), UOS Torino, since November 2011.

He graduated in Biological Sciences in 2000 at the University of Turin, discussing a thesis entitled “Identification of isolates of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. basilici from seeds and basil plants by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD-PCR)”. After thesis, he has been interested in the molecular methods for the identification of microorganisms, developing skills in the study of phylogenetic relationships between conspecific isolates of phytopathogenic fungi, of sterile radical endophytic fungi and other mushrooms. These activities have led to the development of molecular tools for the diagnosis and identification of fungal species of plant pathogens (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. basilici and Rhizopycnis vagum) and prized edible mushrooms (Boletus spp.).

He obtained the Master’s Degree in Bioinformatics, 110/110 cum laude, in 2003 with a thesis entitled “Searching for non-coding RNAs on chromosome I of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.” Along with the rise of new sequencing technologies he has improved his computer skills applied to biology (Bioinformatics) and in programming languages. He designed, developed and currently maintains the first database of specific primers for the identification of phytopathogenic fungi (SPPADBASE).

His research is mainly focused on genomic/transcriptomic of symbiotic organisms and on metagenomic/metagenetic of soil microbiomes. In particular, he studies the genome/transcriptome of the ectomychorrizal fungi Tuber melanosporum (precious Black Truffle) and T. magnatum (precious White Truffle), the Arbuscular Mychorrizal fungi Rhizophagus irregularis and Gigaspora margarita, and the genome of the bacteria Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum, endosymbiont of G. margarita, and “Mollicutes-related endobacteria” symbionts of Dentiscutata heterogama. Furthermore, he studies the biodiversity of fungal communities of different types of natural and agricultural soils and associated with the root system of plants of agronomic interest, by means of new sequencing technologies and analyzed with methods of numerical ecology.

The scientific activity led to the publication as a co-author of 22 articles in journals with impact factor, 3 articles in journals without impact factor, 5 book chapters, and numerous posters/conference papers, 11 of which are published in conference proceedings .

He’s currently involved in several regional, national and international research projects (EcoFINDERS, Pure, AGER-RISINNOVA, V2P2repository, JGI CSP 2014 Proposal 1450, MYCOPLANT, CIPE-BIOBITS).

Personal GitHub repository:


Articles and book chapters since 2008

  • 2018 - Metabarcoding to Investigate Changes in Soil Microbial Communities within Forensic Burial Contexts - Procopio N., Ghignone S., Williams A., Chamberlain A., Mello A., Buckley M. - Forensic science international. Genetics, 39: 73-85
  • 2018 - Native soils with their microbiotas elicit a state of alert in tomato plants - Chialva M., Salvioli di Fossalunga A., Daghino S., Ghignone S., Bagnaresi P., Chiapello M., Novero M., Spadaro D., Perotto S., Bonfante P. - New phytologist, 220: 1296-1308
  • 2018 - The virome of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Gigaspora margarita reveals the first report of DNA fragments corresponding to replicating non-retroviral RNA viruses in fungi - Turina M., Ghignone S., Astolfi N., Silvestri A., Bonfante P., Lanfranco L. - Environmental Microbiology , 20: 2012-2025
  • 2017 - Gigaspora margarita with and without its endobacterium shows adaptive responses to oxidative stress - Venice F., De Pinto M.C., Novero M., Ghignone S., Salvioli A., Bonfante P. - Mycorrhiza ,
  • 2017 - Fine-scale spatial distribution of orchid mycorrhizal fungi in the soil of host-rich grasslands - Voyron S., Ercole E., Ghignone S., Perotto S., Girlanda M. - New phytologist,
  • 2016 - Aquaporin in Chondrosia reniformis Nardo, 1847 and Its Possible Role in the Interaction Between Cells and Engulfed Siliceous Particles - Pozzolini M., Ferrando S., Gallus L., Gambardella C., Ghignone S., Giovine M. - The Biological Bulletin , 230: 220-232
  • 2016 - Symbiosis with an endobacterium increases the fitness of a mycorrhizal fungus, raising its bioenergetic potential - Salvioli A., Ghignone S., Novero M., Navazio L., Venice F., Bagnaresi P., Bonfante P. - The Isme Journal (Online), 10: 130-144
  • 2016 - Molecular characterization and expression analysis of the first Porifera tumor necrosis factor superfamily member and of its putative receptor in the marine sponge Chondrosia reniformis - Pozzolini M., Scarfì S., Ghignone S., Mussino F., Vezzulli L., Cerrano C., Giovine M. - Developmental And Comparative Immunology , 57: 88-98
  • 2015 - Shall we share? A repository for Open Research Data in agriculture and environmental sciences - Abbà S., Birello G., Vallino M., Perin A., Ghignone S., Caciagli P. - EPPO Bulletin , 45:311-316
  • 2015 - Navigating the labyrinth: a guide to sequence-based, community ecology of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi - Hart M.m., Aleklett K., Chagnon P.-l., Egan C., Ghignone S., Helgason T., Lekberg Y., Öpik M., Pickles B.j., Waller L. - New Phytologist , 207: 235-247
  • 2015 - Mosaic genome of endobacteria in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: Transkingdom gene transfer in an ancient mycoplasma-fungus association - Torres-cortés G., Ghignone S., Bonfante P., Schüßler A. - Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America , 112: 7785-7790
  • 2013 - Flexible case-based retrieval for comparative genomics - Montani S., Leonardi G., Ghignone S., Lanfranco L. - Applied intelligence, 39:144-152
  • 2013 - 454 Pyrosequencing Analysis of Fungal Assemblages from Geographically Distant, Disparate Soils Reveals Spatial Patterning and a Core Mycobiome in Diversity - Orgiazzi A., Bianciotto V., Bonfante P., Daghino S., Ghignone S., Lazzari A., Lumini E., Mello A., Napoli C., Perotto S., Vizzini A., Bagella S., Murat C., Girlanda M. - Diversity, 5:73-98
  • 2012 - The genome of the obligate endobacterium of an AM fungus reveals an interphylum network of nutritional interactions - Ghignone S., Salvioli A., Anca I., Lumini E., Ortu G., Petiti L., Cruveiller S., Bianciotto V., Piffanelli P., Lanfranco L., Bonfante P. - The ISME journal, 6:136-145
  • 2011 - A new volvate Macrolepiota (Agaricomycetes, Agaricales) from Italy, with observations on the M. procera complex - Vizzini A., Contu M., Ghignone S., Vellinga E. - Mycotaxon , 117: 149-164
  • 2011 - A preliminary ITS phylogeny of Melanoleuca (Agaricales), with special reference to European taxa - Vizzini A., Para R., Fontenla R., Ghignone S., Ercole E. - Mycotaxon , 118: 361-381
  • 2011 - Species recognition in Pluteus and Volvopluteus (Pluteaceae, Agaricales): morphology, geography and phylogeny - Justo A., Minnis A.M., Ghignone S., Menolli Jr N., Capelari M., Rodríguez O., Malysheva E., Contu M., Vizzini A. - Mycological Progress , 10: 453-479
  • 2011 - Phylogeny of the Pluteaceae (Agaricales, Basidiomycota): taxonomy and character evolution - Justo A., Vizzini A., Minnis A.M., Menolli Jr. N., Capelari M., Rodríguez O., Malysheva E., Contu M., Ghignone S., Hibbett D.S. - Fungal Biology (Print), 115: 1-20
  • 2010 - Périgord black truffle genome uncovers evolutionary origins and mechanisms of symbiosis - Francis M., Kohler A., Murat C., Balestrini R., Coutinho P.M., Jaillon O., Montanini B., Morin E., Noel B., Percudani R., Porcel B., Rubini A., Amicucci A., Amselem J., Anthouard V., Arcioni S., Artiguenave F., Aury J.M., Ballario P., Bolchi A., Brenna A., Brun A., Buée M., Cantarel B., Chevalier G., Couloux A., Da Silva C., Denoeud F., Duplessis S., Ghignone S., Hilselberger B., Iotti M., Marçais B., Mello A., Miranda M., Pacioni G., Quesneville H., Riccioni C., Ruotolo R., Splivallo R., Stocchi V., Tisserant E., Viscomi A.R, Zambonelli A., Zampieri E., Henrissat B., Lebrun M.H., Paolocci F., Bonfante P., Ottonello S., Wincker P. - Nature, 464:1033-1038
  • 2010 - Typification of Octaviania rubescens (Paxillineae, Boletales) and phylogenetic hypotheses for genus Alpova - Vizzini A., Zotti M., Ryman S., Ghignone S. - Mycologia , 102:967-975
  • 2009 - The ftsZ gene of the endocellular bacterium ‘Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum’ is preferentially expressed during the symbiotic phases of its host mycorrhizal fungus - Anca I.A., Lumini E., Ghignone S., Salvioli A., Bianciotto V., Bonfante P. - Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions , 22:302-310
  • 2009 - Functional characterization of a C-4 sterol methyl oxidase from the endomycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices - Oger E., Ghignone S., Campagnac E., Fontaine J., Grandmougin-ferjani A., Lanfranco L. - Fungal Genetics and Biology, 46:486-495
  • 2008 - Boletus edulis complex: from phylogenetic relationships to specific primers - Vizzini A., Mello A., Ghignone S., Sechi C., Ruiu P., Bonfante P. - Pagine di micologia A.M.B. - Centro Studi Micologici, 30:48-52