Paola Leonetti

Plant parasitic nematodes are important pathogens in many fields, because without an appropriate control, they may cause significant losses of both yield and quality.
The effective management of the diseases caused by nematodes is multifactorial, though, in most crops it mainly maintains the nematode populations below acceptable economic threshold levels, thanks to chemical nematocides. However, chemical control is costly and poses safety and environmental concerns, therefore suppression of plant parasitic nematodes with others strategies is a desirable alternative to chemicals.
Plant resistance for example is correlated with the activation of an array of defence mechanisms. The plant able to strongly activate signalling pathway are the most efficient in suppressing the pathogen. Changes in gene expression of plants, treated with SAR inducers and infected by nematodes are under investigation in the perspective of a practical use of this molecules, as an effective and safe alternative to chemical control. Extracts, essential oil and others molecules are used in this sustainable management.
The plant’s response involves transcriptional activation of numerous defense-related genes, opening of ion channels, modifications of protein phosphorylation status, and activation of preformed enzymes which lead to specific modifications of primary and secondary metabolism.
Epigenetic modification, such as cytosine methylation, are inherited in plant species and may occur in response to biotic and abiotic stress, affecting gene expression without changing genetic information.
Biodiversity is a large prospective to analyze all of this problems and to suggest solution.


Articles and book chapters since 2008

  • 2019 - In vitro regeneration through organogenesis in Egyptian chickpea - Amer A., Mohamed G., Pantaleo V., Leonetti P., Hanafy M.S. - Plant Biosystems,
  • 2018 - Leguminose – cereali – foraggere - Finetti-Sialer M., Lioi L., Tommaselli V., Urbano M., Bisignano V., Polignano G.B., Campanella G., Cataldo P., Cifarelli S., Colaprico G., Losavio F.P., Scarascia M., Stimolo L. , Accogli R., De Bellis L. , Cazzato E., Fracchiolla M., Lasorella C., De Mastro G., Tedone L., Ruta C., Verdini L., De Vita P., Pecorella I., Ficco D.B.M., Pecchioni N., Mattia C., Modesti F., Mita G., Santino A., Taurino M., Falco V., Pantaleo V., Leonetti P., Ricciardi L., Lotti C. , Simeone R., Blanco A., Mangini G., Abrusci V., Abrusci G., Capurso A., Creanza G., Berloco G., Dalfino G., Di Renzo P., Intini M., Intini B., Magnatta M., Razionale V., Papa M. R., Panarese F., Panarese M., Maisto A., Racano E., Stasolla F., Belligiano A. - in: Leguminose, cereali e foraggere: un catalogo della biodiversità pugliese, 11-201
  • 2018 - Viruses and phytoparasitic nematodes of Cicer arietinum L.: biotechnological approaches in interaction studies and for sustainable control - Leonetti, P., Accotto, G.P., Hanafy, M. S., Pantaleo V. - Frontiers In Plant Science , volume 9
  • 2018 - ROS and Cell Death in Tomato Roots Infected by Meloidogyne Incognita - Leonetti P. - in: Plant Programmed Cell Death. Methods In Molecular Biology , 1743: 87-95
  • 2017 - The Influence of Phosphate Deficiency on Legume Symbiotic N2 Fixation - Martins D., Macovei A., Leonetti P., Balestrazzi A., Araújo S. - Publisher: Springer International Publishing, 41-75
  • 2017 - The seed repair response during germination: Disclosing correlations between DNA repair, antioxidant response, and chromatin remodeling in medicago truncatula - Pagano A., De Sousa Araujo S., Macovei A., Leonetti P., Balestrazzi A. - Frontiers in plant science, volume 8
  • 2017 - Host-suitability of black medick (Medicago lupulina L.) and additional molecular markers for identification of the pea cyst nematode Heterodera goettingiana - Vovlas A., Santoro S., Radicci V., Leonetti P., Castillo P., Palomares-Rius J.E. - European Journal Of Plant Pathology ,
  • 2017 - Induction of SA-signaling pathway and ethylene biosynthesis in Trichoderma harzianum-treated tomato plants after infection of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita - Leonetti P., Zonno M.C., Molinari S., Altomare C. - Plant Cell Reports , 36(4): 621-631
  • 2017 - A possible role of CTV.20 gene methylation in response to Citrus tristeza virus infection - Fanelli V., De Giovanni C., Saponari M., Leonetti P., Ricciardi L., Montemurro C. - European Journal Of Plant Pathology ,
  • 2016 - Systems biology and genome-wide approaches to unveil the molecular players involved in the pre-germinative metabolism: implications on seed technology traits - Macovei A., Pagano A., Leonetti P., Carbonera D., Balestrazzi A., Araujo S.S. - Plant cell reports,
  • 2016 - Sexual polyploidization in Medicago sativa L.: impact on the phenotype, gene transcription and genome methylation - Rosellini D., Ferradini N., Allegrucci S., Capomaccio S., Zago E. D., Leonetti P., Balech B, Aversano R., Carputo D., Reale L., Veronesi F. - G3 (Bethesda Md.),
  • 2016 - Depletion of tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 1? (MtTdp1?) affects transposon expression in Medicago truncatula - Sabatini M.E., Donà M., Leonetti P., Minio A., Delledonne M., Carbonera D., Confalonieri M., Giraffa G. , Balestrazzi A. - Journal Of Integrative Plant Biology ,
  • 2015 - Parasitism effects on white clover by root-knot and cyst nematodes and molecular separation of Heterodera daverti from H. trifolii - Vovlas N., Vovlas A., Leonetti P., Liebanas G., Castillo P., Subbotin S.A., Palomares Rius J.E. - European Journal Of Plant Pathology ,
  • 2014 - Benzothiadiazole effect in the compatible tomato-Meloidogyne incognita interaction: changes in giant cell development and priming of two root anionic peroxidases - Melillo M.T., Leonetti P., Veronico P. - Planta , 240: 841-854
  • 2014 - Expression of tomato salicylic acid (SA)-responsive pathogenesis-related genes in Mi-1-mediated and SA-induced resistance to root-knot nematodes - Molinari S., Fanelli E., Leonetti P. - Molecular Plant Pathology , 15:255-264
  • 2014 - How fungi interact with nematode to activate the plant defence response in tomato plants - Leonetti P., Costanza A., Zonno M., Molinari S., Altomare C. - Communications In Agricultural And Applied Biological Sciences , 79: 357-362
  • 2013 - Nematicidal Potential Of Artemisia Annua And Its Main Metabolites - D'Addabbo T., Carbonara T., Argentieri M.P., Radicci V., Leonetti P., Villanova L., Avato P. - European Journal Of Plant Pathology , 137:295-304
  • 2011 - ROS and NO production in compatible and incompatible tomato-Meloidogyne incognita interactions - Melillo M.T., Leonetti P., Leone A., Veronico P., Bleve-Zacheo T. - European Journal Of Plant Pathology , 130: 489-502
  • 2010 - A polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein with a role in pea defence against the cyst nematode Heterodera goettingiana - Veronico P., Melillo M.T., Saponaro C., Leonetti P., Picardi E., Jones J.T. - Molecular Plant Pathology , 12:275-287
  • 2010 - Control of plant parasitic nematodes with active saponins and biomass from Medicago sativa - D'Addabbo T., Carbonara T., Leonetti P., Radicci V., Tava A., Avato P. - Phytochemistry Reviews, 29:1-17
  • 2008 - Genome sequence of the metazoan plant-parasitic nematode: Meloidogyne incognita - Abad P., Gouzy J., Aury J.M., Castagnone-Sereno P., Danchin E.G.J., Deleury E., Perfus-Barbeoch L., Anthouard V., Artiguenave F., Blok V.C., Caillaud M.C., Coutinho P.M., Dasilva C., De Luca F., Deau F., Esquibet M., Flutre T., Et Al. - Nature Biotechnology , 26: 909-915