National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

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Silvana Grandillo

Role: Senior Researcher
Section: Researchers and Technologists
Division: Portici
Tel: (39) 081-2539489

Born: 10/10/1960

Nationality: Italian

Professional Address: Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources, UOS Portici

Via Università 133, 80055 Portici (Italy)

Job position: Principal Investigator/Senior Researcher


2007-present: Senior Researcher at the Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources (former Institute of Plant Genetics) Division of Portici

1998-2007: Researcher at CNR-IGV, Institute of Plant Genetics, Division of Portici

1996-1998: Post Doctoral Associate Dept. of Plant Breeding, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Labs: Dr. Steven D. Tanksley and Dr. Susan R. McCouch

Education, Principal training periods and Visits to other laboratories

1991-1996: Ph.D., Plant Breeding and Biometry, Cornell University

Advisor: Prof. Steven D. Tanksley

Oct. 1988- May 1989: Specialist Postgraduate Diploma in Plant Breeding. I.A.M.Z., Spain. Awarded by C.I.H.E.A.M., Paris, France (Cum Maxima Laude)

1987: B.S. Degree in Agricultural Sciences. Univ. of Naples, Portici, Italy (110/110 Cum Laude)


C.I.H.E.A.M Scholarship (1988/1989); EU Fellowship (June-August 1989); CNR Fellowship (1990/1991); The Samuel Lunenfeld Charitable Foundation (Canada) Fellowship (1992); Graduate Research Assistanship from Cornell University, USA (1993); CNR- R.A.I.S.A. Fellowship and Award (1994); Cornell Center for Advanced Technology in Biotechnology (Ithaca, NY, USA) Fellowship (1995).

Professional visits

Dept. of Plant Breeding and Biometry, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, USA, Prof. Steven D Tanksley, CNR- Short Term fellowship (1998, 2006) and Short Mobility International Exchange Program Univ. of Naples (1999, 2008)

Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI) Ithaca, NY, USA, Prof. James J Giovannoni CNR- Short Term fellowship (2004, 2006, 2009), Short Mobility International Exchange Program Univ. of Naples (2005, 2008) and “Formazione individuale Fase II a regime 2009” (2010)

Main Scientific Interests

  • Development of mapped genetic resources in tomato, with special emphasis given to populations of marker-defined introgression lines (ILs) originating from interspecific crosses, for a more efficient exploitation of the natural biodiversity stored in unadapted germplasm. Current applications of these genetic resources include QTL analyses for fruit quality traits and integrative systems biology and genomic approaches to gain further insights into the networks regulating key fruit metabolic pathways underlying tomato flavour and nutritional quality.
  • Identification and functional characterization of key genes involved in nutritional and merceological quality in pepper.
  • Metabolic engineering of secondary metabolite pathways for the production of health-related compounds.

Research Projects (selection)

  • MiUR PON02- /GenoPOM.PRO, Potenziamento della filiera pomodoro attraverso l’uso di piattaforme integrate di post-genomica (2012-2015). Project participant
  • MiUR PON02/GenHORT, Valorizzazione di produzioni ortive campane di eccellenza con strumenti di genomica avanzata (2012-2015). Project participant
  • MEF-CNR CISIA - Conoscenze Integrate per la Sostenibilità e l’Innovazione del made in Italy Agroalimentare. Funded by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Legge n. 191/2009 (2011-2015). Project participant
  • Bilateral project CNR-CSIC “Use of tomato introgression lines for the genetic analysis of sensory quality” in the framework of the bilaterla agreement CNR-CSIC (2011-2012). Spanish research group: Dr. AJ Monforte and Prof. AL Granell, IBMCP (CSCI-UPV), Valencia, Spain. Scientific Responsible of R.U
  • EU-SOL (PL 016214-2) “High Quality Solanaceous crops for consumers, processors and producers by exploration of natural biodiversity” EU-FP6 (2006-2011). Scientific Responsible of CNR-IGV Research Unit (R.U.) and Coordinator of Work Package 4.1: Development of mapped genetic resources.
  • MIUR-FIRB “National Laboratory for Genomics and Post Genomics of Organisms of Agronomic Interest. “Systematic RNAi in tomato of genes relevant for plant and fruit development and for the interaction with the environment” (2005-2011). Scientific Responsible of R.U.
  • -RSTL “Study of the biosynthetic pathway of steroidal saponins and evaluation of their biological and anticholestelolemic activity” (2007). Scientific Responsible of R.U
  • MIUR-FAR "GenoPOM, A genomics private-public laboratory for the innovation and the valorization of tomato” (2006-2011). Scientific Responsible of R.U. for Sub-project “Genes and gene functions for tomato organoleptic quality”.
  • MiPAF-AGRONANOTECH “Structural and functional genomics in Solanaceae” (2004-2007). Scientific Responsible of R.U. for Sub-project “Sequencing part of the euchromatic region of tomato chromosome 12”.

Teaching of University Courses and Tutorial activity

  • Teaching-assistant. Course: “Detection of Genomic Variation”. Prof. Bernie May. Dept. of Natural Resources, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, USA. (1993)
  • Teaching-assistant. Course “Plant Genome Organization and Function. Prof. Steven D. Tanksley. Dept. of Plant Breeding and Biometry of Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, USA. (1995)
  • “Laboratory of Molecular Markers in Plants” Faculty of Biotechnology, Univ. of Naples “Federico II”, Course: (2003-2005)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of the International PhD program in Agrobiodiversity, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, (2007-present).

She has also given numerous seminars and invited lectures at the Univ. of Naples and elsewhere. She has been tutor of B.S. and PhD students at the Univ. of Naples (2000-present)

Other activities

Invited lectures and seminars

  • Grandillo S “The Introgression line approach in the ’-omics’ era". Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP) Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain, on March 26 (2010) (invited seminar)
  • Grandillo S et al. “The Italian contribution to the International Solanaceae Genome Project (SOL)” presented at: i) 50° Annual Congress SIGA, Ischia, Italy, September 10-14 (2006); ii) Workshop “Tomato 2006: Genetics, Physiology and Technology”. Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy, October 5-6 (2006); iii) Workshop “Tomato Genetics and Genomics: the Italian contribution”. Viterbo May 29-30 (2008)
  • Grandillo S “Identification, utilization and cloning of economically valuable QTLs” presented at: i) “The 20th Annual Meeting of The Molecular Biology Society of Japan”, Kyoto, Japan, December 16-19 (1997); ii) 150th Annual Meeting of the AAAS, Philadelphia, PA, USA, February 12-17 (1998)
  • Grandillo S “Advanced backcross QTL analysis: results and perspectives” presented at: i) Conference on “Molecular Plant Breeding” held at the Univ. of Aarhus, Danmark, December 9 (1996); ii) Meeting "In the wake of the Double Helix: from the Green Revolution to the Gene Revolution", Bologna, Italy May 27-31 (2003)

P articipation to Editorial Boards, reviewer for International Journals and Grant proposals

Ad hoc Reviewer for: Theor & Appl Genet; Mol Breeding; J of Exp Botany; BMC Plant Biology; Genome; J of Am Soc of Hort Sci; J of Heredity; United States Israel Bi-national Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD).

Publications (selection)


Alseekh S, Ofner I, Pleban T, Tripodi P, Di Dato F, Cammareri M, Mohammad A, Grandillo S, Fernie AR, Zamir D (2013) Resolution by recombination: breaking up Solanum pennellii introgressions. Trends in Plant Science 8(10):536-8.

Piombino P, Sinesio F, Moneta E, Cammareri M, Genovese A, Lisanti MT, Mogno MR, Peparaio M, Termolino P, Moio L, Grandillo S (2013) Investigating physicochemical, volatile and sensory parameters playing a positive or a negative role on tomato liking. Food Research International 50(1): 409-419

Tomato Genome Consortium (2012) The tomato genome sequence provides insights into fleshy fruit evolution. Nature 485(7400): 635-641

Causse M, Friguet C, Coiret C, Lépicier M, Navez B, Lee M, Holthuysen N, Sinesio F, Moneta E, Grandillo S (2010) Consumer preferences for fresh tomato at the European scale: a common segmentation on taste and firmness. Journal of Food Science 75 (9): S531-S541

Ballester AR, Molthoff J, de Vos R, Hekkert BL, Orzaez D, Fernández-Moreno JP, Tripodi P, Grandillo S, Martin C, Heldens J, Ykema M, Granell A, Bovy A (2010) Biochemical and molecular analysis of pink tomatoes: deregulated expression of the gene encoding transcription factor SlMYB12 leads to pink tomato fruit color. Plant Physiology 152: 71-84

Sinesio F, Cammareri M, Moneta E, Navez B, Peparaio M, Causse M, Grandillo S (2010) Sensory Quality of Fresh French and Dutch Market Tomatoes: a Preference Mapping Study with Italian Consumers. Journal of Food Science 75(1): S55-S67

Vrebalov J, Pan IL, Arroyo AJ, McQuinn R, Chung M, Poole M, Rose J, Seymour G, Grandillo S, Giovannoni J, Irish VF (2009) Fleshy fruit expansion and ripening are regulated by the tomato SHATTERPROOF gene TAGL1 Plant Cell 21(10): 3041-62

Prudent M, Causse M, Gerard M, Tripodi P, Grandillo S, Bertin N (2009) Genetic and ecophysiological analysis of tomato fruit weight and composition - Influence of carbon availability on QTL detection. Journal of Experimental Botany 60(3): 923-937

Li J, Xiao J, Grandillo S, Jiang L, Wan Y, Deng Q, Yuan L, McCouch SR (2004) QTL detection for rice grain quality trits using an interpecific backcross population derived from cultivated Asian (O. sativa L.) and African (O. glaberrima S.) rice. Genome 47: 697-704.

Frary A, Nesbitt TC, Frary A, Grandillo S, van der Knaap E, Cong B, Liu J, Meller J, Elber R, Alpert KB, Tanksley SD (2000) fw2.2: a quantitative trait locus key to the evolution of tomato fruit size. Science 289: 85-88

Ku H, Grandillo S, Tanksley SD (2000) fs8.1, a major QTL sets the pattern of carpel shape well before anthesis. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 101 (5-6), 873-878

Fulton TM, Grandillo S, Beck-Bunn T, Fridman E, Frampton A, Lopez J, Petiard V, Uhlig J, Zamir D, and Tanksley SD (2000) Advanced backcross QTL analysis of a Lycopersicon esculentum x L. parviflorum cross. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 100: 1025-1042.

Xiao J, Li J, Grandillo S, Ahn S, Yuan L, Tanksley SD, McCouch SR (1998) Identification of trait-improving QTL alleles from a wild rice relative, Oryza rufipogon. Genetics 150: 899-909

Xiao J, Li J, Grandillo S, Ahn S, McCouch SR, Tanksley SD, Yuan L (1996) Genes from wild rice improve yield. Nature 384: 223-224

Grandillo S, Hsin-Mei Ku, Tanksley SD (1996) Characterization of fs8.1, a major QTL influencing fruit shape in tomato. Molecular Breeding 2: 251-260

Grandillo S, Tanksley SD (1996) QTL Analysis of horticultural traits differentiating the cultivated tomato from the closely related species Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 92: 935-951

Grandillo S, Tanksley SD (1996) Genetic analysis of RFLPs, GATA microsatellites and RAPDs in a cross between L. esculentum and L. pimpinellifolium. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 92: 957-965

Tanksley SD, Grandillo S, Fulton MT, Zamir D, Eshed Y, Petiard V, Lopez J, Beck-Bunn T (1996) Advanced backcross QTL analysis in a cross between an elite processing line of tomato and its wild relative L. pimpinellifolium. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 92: 213-224

Tanksley SD, Ganal MW, Prince JP, de Vincente MC, Bonierbale MW, Broun P, Fulton TM, Giovannoni JJ, Grandillo S, Martin GB, Messeguer R, Miller JC, Miller L, Paterson AH, Pineda O, Roeder MS, Wing RA, Wu W, Young ND (1992) High Density Molecular Linkage Maps of the Tomato and Potato Genomes. Genetics 132: 1141-1160

Books/Chapters (invited contributions)

Grandillo S (2013) Introgression libraries with wild relatives of crops. In: Genomics of Plant Genetics Resources (Tuberosa R, Graner A, Frison E eds.) Chapt 4, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht, pp 87-122. DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-7575-6_4

Grandillo S*, Termolino P, van der Knaap E (2013) Molecular mapping of complex traits in tomato. In Genomics of fruit and vegetable crops. Editor C. Kole. Volume editors B.E. Liedl, J.A. Labate, A.J. Slade, S.R. Hurst, and J.R. Stommel. Science Publishers, Enfield, NH, USA: pp 150-227 (*corresponding author)

Grandillo S*, Chetelat R, Knapp S, Spooner D, Peralta I, Cammareri M, Perez O, Tripodi P, Termolino P, Chiusano ML, Ercolano MR, Frusciante L, Monti L, Pignone D (2011) Solanum sect. Lycopersicon. In Wild Crop Relatives: Genomic and Breeding Resources - Vegetables (C. Kole ed) Springer, The Netherlands: pp 129-215. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-20450-0_9 (*corresponding author)

Grandillo S*, Tanksley SD, Zamir D (2008) Exploitation of natural biodiversity through genomics. In Genomics Assisted Crop Improvement: Vol I Genomics Approaches and Platforms (R.K. Varshney and R. Tuberosa eds) Springer, The Netherlands: pp 121-150 (*corresponding author)

Labate JA, Grandillo S, Fulton T, Muños S, Caicedo AL, Peralta I, Ji Y, Chetelat RT, Scott JW, Gonzalo MJ, Francis D, Yang W, v d Knaap E, Baldo AM, Smith-White B, Mueller LA, Prince JP, Blanchard NE, Storey DB, Stevens MR, Robbins MD, Wang J-F, Liedl BE, O’Connell MA, Stommel JR, Aoki K, Iijima Y, Slade AJ, Hurst SR, Loeffler D, Steine MN, Vafeados D, McGuire C, Freeman C, Amen A, Goodstal J, Facciotti D, Eck JV, Causse M (2007) Tomato. In Genome Mapping and Molecular Breeding in Plants (C Kole ed.) Springer, Volume 5, Vegetables: pp1- 96.

Grandillo S*, Fulton TM (2002) “Approaches to gene mapping”. In Molecular Plant Biology: A Practical Approach (eds. Phil Gilmartin and Chris Bowler) Oxford University Press pp.101-136 (*corresponding author)


Selected Publications

(full list available at CNR People)

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