Laboratory of Mycology

LOCATION: (Palazzo delle Scienze 4th floor, room IV-03 / Building 13 (former Chimica Industriale), first floor, room I-0033.

The  Mycology Laboratory of DISTAV is unique in Liguria and among the few in Italy. It carries on a tradition of study and research dating back to the early decades of the nineteenth century. Its activities deals with various issues relating to the taxonomy, ecology, biodiversity and biotechnological environmental applications of macrofungi and microfungi. 
The main research lines are reported below.
Mycodiversity conservation, protection and enhancement: isolation, cryopreservation of fungal strains and polyphasic identification (morphological and molecular approach). The isolated strains are preserved in the CoLD-UNIGE JRU MIRRI-IT collection. CoLD is a collection of fungal, bacterial and yeast-like strains and is part of the MIRRI (Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure).
Medical and forensic mycology: research on non-dermatophyte fungi (NDF) agents of superficial mycoses and skin appendages; studies on the role of fungi in forensic science (e.g. the analysis of cadaveric mycoflora to estimate the postmortem interval, fungi contaminating objects/artifacts and environments).
Geomycology, mycodiversity of extreme environments and mycoremediation: biological role of fungi in mineralogenetic processes; mycological characterization of polluted environmental compartments (including water) by eco-toxic substances; selection of biotolerant fungal strains, bioaccumulators, biodegraders of toxic substances; mycoremediation of land and water contaminated by metals and hydrocarbons; study of fungal communities as bioindicators.
Macrofungal biodiversity and cultivation of edible macrofungi: determination of the chemical, physical, and mineralogical properties of productive soils in relation to quality, biodiversity, and macrofungal productivity; surveys on the ecology, distribution and cultivation of underground fungal species (truffles) of food interest; characterization of food products to outline a controlled and protected designation of origin and/or geographical designation of origin of spontaneous edible mushrooms, also to avoid fraud in the food sector; cultivation of saprotrophic fungi on different substrates, both to recycle vegetable waste and to produce sporomata with nutraceutical properties.
Mycology in cultural heritage: isolation of biodeteriogen fungi on various artifacts, including stone; studies on biological foxing.

RESEARCH GROUP MEMBERS: Mirca Zotti, Simone Di Piazza, Enrica Roccotiello, Mauro Mariotti, Grazia Cecchi, Ester Rosa, Laura Canonica, Vittorio Capra.

Biodiversity and Ecosystem function
Natural capital and ecosystem services
Assessment and digital cartography of pressures, threats and risks for biodiversity
Biomonitoring of marine environment, marine microbiology and mycology
Physical protection of the marine-maritime environment
Bioremediation and biomonitoring using fungi and plants
Ecotoxic elements and environmental degradation

Mirca Zotti: 
Simone Di Piazza:
Enrica Roccotiello:
Mauro Mariotti:

CLIMACTIONS. ccm Adattamento e mitigazione ai Cambiamenti CLIMAtici: intervenTI urbani per la promOzioNe della Salute
COBIODIV. Alcotra Italy/France Knowing BIODIVersity and ecosystems to protect the environment. w…
ECOLOPES H2020 ECOlogical building enveLOPES.
FINNOVER. Alcotra Italy/France
GEREMIA Interreg Italia-Francia marittimo 2014-2020 GEstione dei REflui per il MIglioramento delle Acque portuali.
MosSkin - POC San Paolo Lightweight moss systems for buildings. 
QUALIPORTI Interreg Italia-Francia marittimo 2014-2020 qualità e bioremediation delle acque marine del porto di Cavo (isola d’Elba).
SEDITERRA Interreg Italia-Francia marittimo 2014-2020, si propone di bonificare i sedimenti portuali tramite mycoremediation
Sostenibilità per l'ambiente e la salute dei cittadini nelle città portuali in Italia. PNRR-PNC Valutazione, monitoraggio e mitigazione dell’inquinamento acustico ed atmosferico nelle città portuali italiane.
Strengthening the MIRRI Italian Research Infrastructure for Sustainable Bioscience and Bioeconomy - (SUS-MIRRI.IT) 2022 CALL PNRR:M4/C2/L3.1.1
RAISE (Robotics and AI for Socio-economic Empowerment) 2022 CALL PNRR 1.5 (M4C2)

LABORATORY EQUIPMENT: for isolation and long-term storage of fungal strains (- 80 °C and freeze-dryer); for the conservation of exsiccata; for molecular analysis (barcoding, characterization), bioreactors for liquid state fermentation, for antibiograms and biodegradation tests, bioaccumulation.

EXPERT MYCOLOGIST certification (Italian Ministerial Decree 686/96) Training and refresher courses (In collaboration with MICAMO (spin-off UNIGE)). For more information:

Ligurian Agri-Food Academy-ITS. For more information:



Last update 18 February 2023