Root biology remains largely underexplored despite its importance to crops. In this seminar I will summarize the work we have done at the University of Bologna regarding the dissection of the molecular genetics of root architecture in barley. The main source of plant materials for our studies are barley mutant lines identified within a chemically mutagenized population initially produced for reverse genetics (TILLING) purposes. Using combinations of genomic approaches, we have cloned several root genes. The identification of these genes is revealing new root development mechanisms specific to barley and/or monocots.
Silvio Salvi obtained his PhD in Biotechnology at the University of Bologna, working on the genetic control of flowering time in maize. He then continued his research activities as a post-doc working on barley and maize molecular genetics and genomics. From 2007 to 2010 was Principal Investigator at CRI-FEM, San Michele all’Adige (Trento) working on apple molecular genetics, and then was back to UNIBO as associate and now full professor. His current research activities are in the area of molecular genetics of agronomically relevant traits (abiotic and biotic stress resistance) in cereals (maize, barley and durum wheat), tomato and grasses (Arundo donax), with emphasis on root. He also deals with mutagenesis and manages mutant collections of barley and Arundo donax. He is interested in plant evolution and domestication. He teaches Agricultural Genetics and Plant Biotechnologies in several courses of the University of Bologna.