Systematics of plants, micro-evolution and conservation of plant species

Hypervariable molecular markers are used to detect intra-population genetic variability and inter-population genetic differentiation in species characterized by fragmented or reduced range, often at risk of extinction. The markers used [inter simple sequence repeats (ISSR), sequencing of non-coding regions of plastid DNA (NC-cpDNA)] provide information on the level of genetic variability, and its distribution among individuals and populations of the same species, which allow to: (i) evaluate the ability of species to adapt to environmental changes; (ii) deduce the relationships between the genetic structure of a species and endogenous or exogenous factors (such as reproductive strategy or habitat type); (iii) understand the evolutionary history and the phylogeographic pattern of the examined species; (iv) suggest appropriate programs aimed at the in situ and ex situ conservation of threatened species.

Collaborations: Municipality of Fiorano Modenese, Central Emilia Parks Authority, University of Modena and Reggio-Emilia, University of Parma