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Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources

National Research Council of Italy

Carmelina Bianco

Role: Researcher
Section: Researchers and Technologists
Division: Naples
Tel: (39) 081-6132610
E-mail: carmen.bianco@ibbr.cnr.it


Education

2002: PhD in Chemical Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy.

1997: Degree in Chemistry, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy.

Training

2014-today: staff researcher (temporary position) at Institute of Bioscience and BioResources - CNR, Naples, Italy.

2014: Training on “SeqAhead: NGS current challenges and data analysis for plant researchers” (TGAC, Norwich, UK).

2012-2013: staff researcher (temporary position) at Institute of Genetics and Biophysics “A. B. T.”- CNR, Naples, Italy.

2011: Training on “Next Generation Sequencing: from samples to data analysis” (IGA Summer School 2011, Udine).

2003-2011: Post-Doc fellowships at Institute of Genetics and Biophysics “A. B. T.”- CNR, Naples, Italy.

2005: Training on “Microarray Technology and Bioinformatics course” (Università di Camerino).

2003: Training on “Microarray 2003 data analysis and mining” (Dipartimento di Genetica, Biologia Generale e Molecolare, Università Federico II di Napoli).

2002: Training on “A pratical basic course in microarray data analysis and mining” (Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Biologiche, Università di Torino).

2000-2002: PhD student at Institute of Genetics and Biophysics “A. B. T.”- CNR, Naples, Italy.

1997-2000: Post graduate training at University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy.

Main research activities

Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is one of the most physiologically active auxins in plants. Many plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPR) that inhabit the rhizosphere synthesize and release auxins as secondary metabolites thanks to the rich supply of substrates exuded by the roots. Production of IAA affects root growth leading to the formation of roots systems with increased exploratory capacity. This morphological modification plays an important role in the mechanisms of stress response. IAA also functions as a regulator of cellular metabolism with activation of flux substrates through the central energy pathways in quite distant organisms (bacteria, fungi and animals). My research activities are mainly focused on the study of the molecular mechanisms by which IAA promotes the up-regulation of the central energy metabolism and improves the response to abiotic and biotic stresses. Medicago truncatula and Sinorhizobium meliloti, with their sequenced genomes, have been adopted as models systems to perform physiological, biochemical and molecular analysis. These complementary approaches allowed me to perform a wide spectrum analysis of the positive effects induced by the rhizobial IAA over-production on leguminous plants.

Recently I are dealing with the possibility of extending these effects to beneficial interactions between cereals and endophytic bacteria. Indeed, although the interaction between endophytic bacteria and host plants has not been fully understood, it is well established that endophytic bacteria have many beneficial effects on the host plants growth by producing phytohormones similar to that of PGPR. My challenge is the management of microbial communities to promote plant colonization by beneficial bacteria.

Another more recent research line concerns the “Use of microbial community to clean up the environment”. Every day, industrial, commercial and personal practices produce wastes that often are hazardous to public health or the ecosystem. Improper management of wastes may lead to contaminated air, soil and water. Currently there are several methods to reduce, control or eliminate problematic chemicals. The breakdown of polluting compounds using indigenous or introduced microbes that naturally degrade contaminants (Bioremediation) provides an efficient and economical way to reduce environmental toxins. These microbes often use contaminants as a food source, thereby completely eliminating toxic compounds by changing them into basic elements such as carbon dioxide and water. In my research activity I have isolated and characterised several microbial species from polluted environments. The clean-up capabilities of these microorganisms have been tested, with very promising results. Experiments trying to improve their biodegradation activity are currently in progress.

Selected Publications

  • C. Bianco, B. Senatore, S. Arbucci, G. Pieraccini, and R. Defez (2014). Modulation of endogenous indole-3-acetic acid biosynthesis in bacteroids within Medicago sativa nodules. Appl Environ Microbiol. 80 (14): 4286-4293. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00597-14

C. Bianco, and R. Defez (2010). Improvement of phosphate solubilization and Medicago plant yield by an indole-3-acetic acid-overproducing strain of Sinorhizobium meliloti. Appl Environ Microbiol. 76: 4626-4632.

C. Bianco, and R. Defez (2009). Medicago truncatula improves the abiotic stress resistance when nodulated by an indole-3-acetic acid over-producing Sinorhizobium meliloti strain. J Exp Bot. 60: 3097-3107.

E. Imperlini, C. Bianco, E. Lonardo, S. Camerini, M. Cermola, G. Moschetti and R. Defez (2009). Effects of indole-3-acetic acid on Sinorhizobium meliloti survival and symbiotic nitrogen fixation and stem dry weight production. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 83: 727-738.

C. Bianco, E. Imperlini, R. Calogero, B. Senatore, A. Amoresano, A. Carpentieri, P. Pucci, and R. Defez (2006). Indole-3-acetic acid improves Escherichia coli’s defences to stress. Arch Microbiol 185 (5): 373-382.

C. Bianco, E. Imperlini, R. Calogero, B. Senatore, P. Pucci, and R. Defez (2006). Indole-3-acetic acid regulates the central metabolic pathways in Escherichia coli. Microbiology 152: 2421-2431.

 

Selected Publications
(full list available at CNR People)

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