Laboratory of Plant Biology

LOCATION: Palazzina delle Scienze: Piano I ammezzato, stanza Ia.10; piano II, stanze II.10-11; Orto Botanico dell'Università  di Genova.

The research activity is focused on the micromorphological characterization of plant organs and tissues, by means of optical and scanning electron microscopy techniques. The biological properties of plant extracts, secondary metabolites and essential oils are also being studied. The extracts are obtained from species of food, medicinal, veterinary and cosmetic interest, as well as from vegetable by-products.
Specifically, the studies concern:
-Ethnobotanical investigations aimed at identifying plants with biological properties of interest and ancient local cultivars to be valorised.
-Recovery and valorisation of by-products of the agri-food sector and of the medicinal plants supply chain for possible sanitary applications, as well as biopesticides and selective herbicides.
-Evaluation of the biological activity of plant bioactive compounds both through enzymatic tests and in vitro tests on cell cultures (fibroblasts and keratinocytes).
-Micromorphological and phytochemical characterization of poisonous plants, source of possible poisoning due to frequent misidentification with edible plants.
-Characterization and quality control of products of plant origin, such as supplements, in relation to consumer health and safety.
-Reproductive biology of plants and biology of symbiosis, with particular reference to terrestrial orchids and lichens.

RESEARCH GROUP MEMBERS:Laura Cornara (PA), Paola Malaspina (RTDA), Cristina Danna (PhD student)
MEMBRI DEL GRUPPO DI RICERCA:Laura Cornara (PA), Paola Malaspina (RTDA), Cristina Danna (PhD student)

Extraction and evaluation of the effects of bioactive molecules:
Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning:


Laura Cornara

Paola Malaspina

Cristina Danna

Instruments for stereomicroscopic characterization and related image analysis software. Optical light microscopy with transmitted light, polarization and fluorescence and relative image analysis softwares, for micromorphological and histological characterization.
Laboratory equipment: microwave, ultrasonic bath sonicator, laboratory balance, heating plate with magnetic stirrer, homogenizer, cell culture laminar flow hood, carbon dioxide incubator, refrigerators, freezer, centrifuge, refrigerator-thermostat incubator and rotary microtome.

Experimental activity for Bachelor and Master thesis in Biology, Environmental and Natural Sciences; Course for STAT PhD students, 
Master in Fitoterapia (UNISI); collaboration in the training course for ARPAL


Last update 18 February 2023