Research Areas


Introduction: in the recent past the population of the world had risen to 5 billion but that current food production was sufficient to provide adequate nutrition for 6 billion. The malnutrition was due to political, sociological and distribution problems rather than deficiencies in agricultural science and practice. Actually the total population has risen 6,7-7 billion and it is unlikely to fall before a peak of 9 billion is reached in the middle of the 21° century.

 Balancing the supply and demand of crop products may become even more difficult. This discipline aims to teach the principles on which to base a further impetus productive.

This science includes research topics related to agro-ecosystems, the factors that control the plant-environment interactions, including the physiology of crop yield and integrates the knowledge acquired in growth and development of standards and techniques for sustainable management of the production system, defining the most appropriate management to ensure, in different environments, soil and climate, the availability and quantitative of their products and the enhancement of environmental resources. The skills training in the industry ranging from aspects of physical factors: agricultural meteorology, climatology and soil physics; biology and crop physiology of field crops; agronomic aspects and territorial dry farming and irrigation farming structure and agro-forestry-pastoral systems, weed control, experimental methodology agronomic conservation of soil fertility, agronomic valorisation of the waste including non-agricultural, seed production and choice of cultivar, conservation and health of yield, agronomic evaluation, conservation and renovation of degraded lands; the technical specifications of the various field crops: food and no-food (fibre, alcohol, biofuel) from grassing technical, turf and cover crops.


Transcriptome analysis to study plant reproductive systems (apomixis in Hypericum, male-sterility in chicory, self-incompatibility in olive);

  1. Maize epigenetics;
  2. The role of polar auxin transport in shaping maize development;
  3. Whole transcriptome approaches for development and validation of molecular markers for selection of new grape rootstocks resistant to water, salt and chlorosis stresses;
  4. Individuation and genomic and functional characterization of ABC genes codifying transporter proteins related to grape response to biotic and abiotic stresses;
  5. Genome analysis by SSR and SNP markers for genetic characterization of plant populations and assisted selection (MAS) in agricultural and forest species;
  6. Development of molecular diagnostic assays for the genetic traceability of agri-food products using DNA barcoding.

Key-words: plant reproductive systems; structural and functional genomics; molecular marker-assisted selection, maize epigenetics, auxin transport, grape response to biotic and abiotic stresses.


The Entomology group carries out research on sustainable pest management strategies in agricultural and forest ecosystems. This goal is mainly pursued through studies aimed at interrelating basic knowledge on arthropod biology, taxonomy, insect-plant relationships, population regulation, effects of climate change, and population genetics.

Key-words: biodiversity, pesticide effects, insect symbionts, alien species, pollination, multi-trophic relationships, biocontrol, ecosystem services


Plant - soil interactions, soil quality assessment , soil organic matter and humic substances dynamics and environmental significance in forest and agriculture ecosystems.

Study of physiological pathways involved in the responses to bio-effective substances such as humic substances and plant biostimulators with the aim of developing natural compounds to be used as biofertilizers and biopesticides for a sustainable agriculture.
Genetic control of root system and nutrient absorption in crop plants.
Study of the plant response to nutrient and heavy metal stress.
Accumulation of drugs in crop and tree plants. Biochemical and physiological response of plants to abiotic stress.
Oxidative stress: sensing, response and plant adaptation to environment
Applications of the proteomic analysis to agricultural sciences

Keywords: Soil fertility; soil humic compounds; Molecular markers; Root architecture; phytoremediation; oxidative stress; proteomics.


Modifications of food components as affected by traditional and innovative processes and storage conditions

Valorization of by-products of food chains
Allergens and digestibility of plant foods
Improvement of wine and alcoholic beverages quality
Key words: functional foods, bioactive compounds, macromolecules, enzymes, wine, cereals, by-products, allergens




Research topics

Livestock systems; evolutionof the relationships between livestock farming and society;genetic causes ofvariation of animal production; efficiencyandquality of productionin the context ofsustainable livestock farming; genetic/genomic evaluation, selectionof animal populations and crossbreeding systems; biotechnologies for the genetic improvement, conservation ofanimal genetic resources, monitoring of the supply chainand traceability oflivestock products; biostatistics and bioinformaticsmethods for the genetic improvementof livestock animals, conservation of biodiversity andbiotechnological applications.

Key words

Genetics, Biostatistics, Biotechnologies, Biodiversity, Animal genetic resources, Animal production.


Topics of Animal Feeding and Nutrition research unit are: Animal feeding and nutrition of farm and pet animals; Digestive and metabolic utilization of nutrients; chemical, physical and biological characteristics of feeds, feed industry and technology; nutritional strategies to reduce the environmental impact of husbandry; feed evaluation techniques;  nutrition and quality of animal products.




The scientific sector joins research topics concerning poultry, rabbit and fish species, characterized by short biological cycles and industrialized production, transformation and marketing processes, and develops husbandry systems and techniques providing high quality products. The teaching and formation subjects are: animal physio-climatology, aquaculture, rearing of wild birds, game, laboratory and fur animals, poultry, rabbits, and minor domestic species.