The research related to the soil chemistry sector deals with i) identifying and validating biological indicators of chemical, physical and biological degradation, also according to different agronomic management; ii) recover soils polluted by heavy metals and hydrocarbons; iii) to study the mineralization kinetics of organic matter in agriculture and urban areas; iv) study the use of residual biomass in agriculture and the production of quality compost.
In the field of plant-based agricultural chemistry, research is carried out on:
i) abiotic stress on primary targets, signaling mechanisms and defensive responses of plants;
ii) environmental stress and photosynthetic process;
iii) photoprotection mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus;
iv) nutraceutical value of vegetable foods also according to the factors in pre- and post-harvest;
v) UV radiation and biochemical-molecular responses in fruits;
vi) formation and decay kinetics of ROS;
vii) natural biopolymers as a coating on fresh food to improve quality and shelf-life;
viii) remediation of sites contaminated by metals through assisted phytoextraction or use of appropriate cultivation techniques.
From left to right: Basil plant of the ‘RedRubin’ variety and the structure of cyanidin-3-glucoside, the main anthocyanin present in the leaves; use of collagen and chitosan as edible coating polymers.
The research team has laboratories for chemical and biochemical analyzes, refrigerated centrifuge, ultracentrifuge, UV-Vis spectrophotometers, electrophoretic cells, HPLC, gas chromatographs, fluorimeters for measuring the fluorescence of chlorophyll a, flavonoid, anthocyanin and chlorophyll analyzer, automatic analyzer of total carbon and sulfur and dissolved organic carbon, ion chromatograph, atomic absorption.
The agricultural chemistry sector has numerous collaborations with researchers from DiSAAA-a and other national (University, CNR) and international research structures, including: Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research, Valencia, Spain and Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal (L. Guidi); University of La Rioja, Spain, University of Pècs, Hungary, Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Grossbeeren, Germany, University of Glasgow, UK, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria, and Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (A. Ranieri); Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao, Spain and Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cédria, Hammam-Lif, Tunisia (MF Quartacci).