Maria Teresa Melillo

My main research interest is focused on plant-nematode interactions and analysis of cytological changes induced in plants by biotic and abiotic stresses. Cytological, physiological and morphological studies in resistant and susceptible plant species challenged by root-knot and cyst nematodes such as tomato cultivars-Meloidogyne incognita, pea lines-Heterodera goettingiana, wheat lines-H. avenae have been performed.
My background experience is in cytology, physiology and ultrastructure of plants and nematodes; cytochemical and immunocytochemical analysis of both ROS (H2O2, O2-) and enzymes (peroxidases, lipoxygenases) involved in the resistant response in plant-nematode interaction.. Of particular interest is elucidation of the role played by nematode oesophageal secretions in modifying and regulating the function, metabolism, and phenotype cells to form sophisticated feeding sites in their hosts; cytochemical and immunocytochemical studies of reorganization of cytoskeleton elements (actin, tubulin) during compatible response in plant-nematode interaction.
Actually, my reaserch is focused on use of the chemical (BTH) and physical (ozone) elicitors
on susceptible tomato cultivar to increase plant defence to nematodes. The effects of BTH or ozone on tomato-nematode interacion and production of ROS and activity of some enzymes related to plant defense mechanisms are being investigated.


Articles and book chapters since 2008

  • 2019 - Ozone treatments activate defence responses against Meloidogyne incognita and Tomato spotted wilt virus in tomato - Prigigallo M.I., Melillo M.T., Bubici G., Dobrev P.I., Vankova R., Cillo F., Veronico P. - Pest management science,
  • 2019 - Effect of coffee silver skin and brewers’ spent grain in the control of root-knot nematodes - Thligene N., Mezzapesa G.N., Mondelli D., Trani A., Veronico P., Melillo M. T., Dumontet S., Miano T., Sasanelli N. - Helminthologia, 56: 30-41
  • 2018 - Changes in lignin biosynthesis and monomer composition in response to benzothiadiazole and root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita infection in tomato - Veronico P., Paciolla C., Pomar F., De Leonardis S., Garcia-Ulloa A., Melillo M.T. - Journal Of Plant Physiology , 230: 40-50
  • 2016 - Ozonated water reduces susceptibility in tomato plants to Meloidogyne incognita by the modulation of the antioxidant system - Veronico P., Paciolla C., Sasanelli N., De Leonardis S., Melillo M.T. - Molecular plant pathology,
  • 2014 - A role for LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES-DOMAIN 16 during the interaction Arabidopsis-Meloidogyne spp. provides a molecular link between lateral root and root-knot nematode feeding site development - Cabrera J., Diaz-Manzano F.E., Sanchez M., Rosso M.-N., Melillo T., Goh T., Fukaki H., Cabello S., Hofmann J., Fenoll C., Escobar C. - New Phytologist , 203:632-645
  • 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
  • 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
  • 2011 - Feeding Cells Induced by Phytoparasitic Nematodes Require γ-Tubulin Ring Complex for Microtubule Reorganization - Canora M.Y., Rodiuc N., Baldacci-Cresp F., Smertenko A., Bleve-Zacheo T., Melillo M.T., Karimi M., Hilson P., Evrard J.L., Favery B., Engler G., Abad P., De Almeida Engler J. - Plos Pathogens , 7(12): 1-16
  • 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
  • 2009 - Analysis of class III peroxidase genes expressed in roots of resistant and susceptible wheat lines infected by Heterodera avenae - Simonetti E., Veronico P., Melillo M.T., Delibes A., Fe Andrés M.F., Lopez-brana I. - Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions , 22:1081-1092