Development and applications of DNA-Barcode for the identification of molecular markers of fungal species and insect pests

This research line is part of a joint activity between MAIB and the Istituto di Tecnologie Biomediche (CNR-Bari) on the identification of new species and the assignment of individuals to known species, under the “Barcode of Life” initiative, in which both institutions are formally engaged.


The main goal is to develop an automatic, rapid and economical taxonomic identification procedure at the species level, based on one or few standard molecular markers. This methodology is very promising in terms of pure knowledge and application to the agri-food and phytosantitary sectors.


The idea of using DNA-barcode for a rapid, effective and standardised detection and discrimination of the diverse species of fungi and insect pests is now gaining ground worldwide and the kind of marker and the protocols to adopt are at the heart of the international debate.


At present a series of markers of nuclear origin are applied yet to identify some fungal species, but the possibility of using also mitochondrial markers is under investigation.


Indeed, much of the efforts focus on the  search for  a mitochondrial marker in Ascomycota to discriminate the species within the genus Fusarium coming from citrus nurseries and groves across the Mediterranean, by amplifying and sequencing DNA of the target genes (mitochondrial, Beta – Tubulin and Translation Elongation Factor 1-alpha).


Starting: 1.01.2007
Scheduled ending: 31.12.2015
Real ending: 18.09.2019
Reference person/s: D'Onghia Anna Maria /
Collaborators: Yaseen Thaer /
Thesis: Phenotypic pathogenicity characters of Fusarium spp. on citrus and correlation with phylogenetic effect
An integrated molecular and morphological study to design a DNA barcode discrimination protocol for Fusarium species involved in Dry root rot disease of citrus
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