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Phloem is the plant vascular tissue used to translocate photoassimilates. This tissue consists in highly specialized cells that permit the transport of sugars and other molecules from leaves to sink organs. The transport of sugars is a complex mechanism and several different proteins are involved. Phloem functions can be altered by plant pathogens as phytoplasmas and abiotic stresses. The project will focus on the comprehension of transport mechanisms and the impairment of phloem function and carbon allocation under stress conditions.
Federica De Marco has graduated in Agricultural Biotechnology at the University of Udine (Italy) in 2009. She has obtained her PhD from the doctoral course “Agriculture Science and Biotechnology” at the University of Udine (2011-2013).
The title of the PhD thesis was “Stolbur phytoplasma and its interactions with the phloem tissue”. Her research interests relate to the interactions between pathogen and plant host. Phytoplasma infection severely affects the quantity and quality of several crop species. The comprehension of molecular mechanisms involved in the disease process caused by phytoplasmas was the topic of the PhD project. Studies were conducted integrating microscopy and molecular biology techniques.
After the PhD, she attended a two-year post doc project funded by AgreenSkills at IJPB Institute at INRA - Versailles (2014- 2016). Currently she is still working at IJPB with a SPS’innov funding project of one year in collaboration with Groupe Roullier, French enterprise leader in fertilizers and biostimulant/ biocontrol products.
De Marco F., Pagliari L., Degola F., Buxa S.V., Loschi A. Dinant S., Le Hir R., Morin H. Santi S., Musetti R., 2016. Combined microscopy and molecular analyses show phloem occlusions and cell wall modifications in tomato leaves in response to ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’. Journal of Microscopy. 263(2):212-25.
Le Hir R., Spinner L., Klemens P.A., Chakraborti D., De Marco F., Vilaine F., Wolff N., Lemoine R., Porcheron B., Géry C., Téoulé E., Chabout S., Mouille G., Neuhaus H.E., Dinant S., Bellini C., 2015. Disruption of the sugar transporters AtSWEET11 and AtSWEET12 affects vascular development and freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis. Molecular Plant. 8 (11): 1687-90.
Musetti R., Pagliari L., Buxa S.V., Degola F., De Marco F., Loschi A., Kogel K.H., van Bel A.J.E., 2016. OHMS: Phytoplasmas dictate changes in sieve-element ultrastructure to accommodate their requirements for nutrition, multiplication and translocation. Plant signalling & behaviour. 11 (2): e1138191.
Buxa S.V., Degola F., Polizzotto R., De Marco F., Loschi A., Kogel K.H., Sanità di Toppi L., van Bel A.J.E., Musetti R., 2015. Phytoplasma infection in tomato is associated with re-organization of plasma membrane, ER stacks, and actin filaments in sieve elements. Frontiers in Plant Science. 6: 650.
Santi S., De Marco F., Polizzotto R., Grisan S., Musetti R., 2013. Recovery from stolbur disease in grapevine involves changes in sugar transport and metabolism. Frontiers in Plant Science vol 4: 171