StaffEleonora Cominelli


Informations



E-mail
cominelli@ibba.cnr.it

Phone
+39 0223699421

Office
Milano

Research area
QUALY, BIOCEL


ORCID: 0000-0002-3612-3323
Google Scholar: Profile
Research Gate: Eleonora Cominelli
Scopus Author ID: 23089922800
WoS Researcher ID: O-6381-2015

Cominelli Eleonora

Senior Researcher

Education

2011: PhD in Genetics and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Milan (Italy), Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotecnology

1999: Specialization in Applied Genetics (PhD equivalent) at the University of Milan, Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Italy. Final grade: 70/70 cum laude

1996: Degree in Biological Science at the University of Milan, Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Italy. Final grade: 110/110 cum laude

Professional experience

2019-2021: WP Manager of the POR FESR 2014-2020 project of the Lombardy Region sPATIALS3: “Improvement of agri-food production and innovative technologies for a healthier, safer and more sustainable diet”

2015: Co-proponent for beam time allocation (proposal LS-2374) at European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, Grenoble) for the project “Iron distribution and Fe chemical form in common bean and maize low phytic acid (lpa) mutants”

2015: Main proponent for beam time allocation (proposal 20145056) at Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste for the project “Spatial distribution of Fe, Mg, Zn and P in common bean low phytic acid-1 mutant seeds”

2011-Today: Researcher at the Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology of the CNR

2010-2011: Research grant at the Department of Biosciences of the University of Milan for the European project “ATHENA: AnThocyanin and polyphenol bioactives for Health Enhancement through Nutritional Advancement”

2007-2010: Young researcher contract at the Department of Biosciences of the University of Milan for the FIRB-ERANET project “CISCODE: Conservation and diversity in transcriptional regulation of developmental processes in crop and model plant species”

2006-2007: Research grant at the Department of Biosciences of the University of Milan for the European project “FLORA: Flavonoids and related phenolics for healty living using orally recommended antioxidants”

2003-2006: Young researcher contract at the Department of Biosciences of the University of Milan for the FIRB project “From Arabidopsis to tomato: a scientific network and a technological platform for the functional genomics of plant development”

2003: Training period in the laboratory of Professor Alain Vavasseur at the “Laboratoire des Echanges Membranaires et Signalisation, Département d’Ecophysilogie Végétale et Microbiologie, CEN de Cadarache”, France

2001-2002: Research fellowship at the Department of Biosciences of the University of Milan for the MIPAF project: ECOPOM-Innovative techniques for the identification of molecular markers associated with the typicality of Campania tomatoes

1999 -2001: Research grant at the Department of Biosciences of the University of Milan for the European project “REGIA: Regulatory Gene Initiative in Arabidopsis”

1998: Training period in the laboratories of Professor Jonathan Jones and Professor Cathie Martin, Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Center in Norwich, United Kingdom

Research interests

  • Characterization of seed quality in legumes and cereals
  • Seed biofortification
  • Phytic acid pathway and transport.

Projects in progress

PARDOM - Parallel Domestications: the Phaseolus replicated experiment to understand genome evolution and adaptation
Start date: 29/04/2020   End date: 28/04/2023

MIUR

Milano, Roma
Francesca Sparvoli

Project duration:
29/04/2020 - 28/04/2023
Financing body:
MIUR
Project research leader:
Francesca Sparvoli
Headquarters:
Milano, Roma

PARDOM - Parallel Domestications: the Phaseolus replicated experiment to understand genome evolution and adaptation


As similar sets of traits evolved over a wide range of species during domestication (e.g. seed size) the study of wild and domestic forms is a key model to understand convergent phenotypic evolution. Phaseolus is a unique example of multiple parallel domestications in five closely related species. Of these, P. vulgaris (PV), and P. lunatus (PL), were each domesticated independently in Mesoamerica and the Andes, defining at least four independent domestication events. To understand the genomic architecture of domestication, we will set-up a ‘domestication experiment’ with full factorial design for three factors: species, areas and wild/ domestic status. Using cutting-edge population genomics approaches (including machine learning methods) we will compare PV and PL, using high-quality whole-genome sequencing, pan-genome assembly, RNA sequencing, metabolomics, and phenotyping. TILLING-by-sequencing and genome editing will be used for functional validation of candidate domestication genes. Overall, this Project has both fundamental and applied implications: it addresses relevant, but poorly answered, questions related to genomic changes during selection and adaptation, and it will provide crucial knowledge for development of improved crop varieties to meet societal challenges.
CASTADIVA-Biodiversity and multifunctionality of the chestnut tree. Valorization of genetic resources for the development of Lombardy sub mountain areas
Start date: 11/06/2021   End date: 10/06/2023

Regione Lombardia

Milano   Website

Eleonora Cominelli

Project duration:
11/06/2021 - 10/06/2023
Financing body:
Regione Lombardia
Project research leader:
Eleonora Cominelli
Headquarters:
Milano
Project website:
Website

CASTADIVA-Biodiversity and multifunctionality of the chestnut tree. Valorization of genetic resources for the development of Lombardy sub mountain areas


Over the centuries, the chestnut tree, cultivated for its fruits and timber, has become an essential element of subsistence for many societies in mountain and sub-mountainous areas, revealing its potential as a multifunctional species. However, today a large part of chestnut forests is in a state of degradation and abandonment, mainly due to the depopulation of rural areas, global climate change and recent outbreaks of exotic pests. With a view to the recovery and enhancement of chestnut genetic resources, the CASTADIVA project mainly aims to:

  • map the chestnut areas of pilot areas in the Lombardy Region (chestnut groves in the Municipality of Serle, BS and in the Varese Prealps, VA);
  • evaluate the genetic diversity of chestnut woods, genetically characterize local varieties
  • to characterize the fruits from a morphological, pomological, qualitative and nutritional point of view
  • integrate data obtained from genetic and morphometric analysis with ecological, silvicultural, phytosanitary and possibly socio-economic data;
  • identify the best practices and management criteria for the conservation and enhancement of chestnut genetic resources to be applied in the areas of greatest interest; transfer information to local administrations and the agricultural world.
BIO-MEMORY
Start date: 15/10/2021   End date: 15/10/2022

CNR

Milano, Lodi, Pisa, Roma
Flavia Pizzi, Aldo Ceriotti

Project duration:
15/10/2021 - 15/10/2022
Financing body:
CNR
Project research leader:
Flavia Pizzi, Aldo Ceriotti
Headquarters:
Milano, Lodi, Pisa, Roma

BIO-MEMORY


The project is organized in 3 main activities:

1) Implementation and updating of the BioGenRes network of biobanks, with a focus on nationally/internationally recognized collections of animal, plant or microorganism species samples (animal and plant germplasm banks, microbial strain libraries of pathogenic/toxigenic organisms, nematodes, soil and water microflora and microorganisms used in agro-industry and food (e.g. microbial starters for fermentations)).

2) Replication (rejuvenation) and expansion of material stored in collections. For plant and microbial collections: multiplication of accessions for which a small amount of material is available and rejuvenation of accessions whose seed viability data are below the expected standards (> 85%). For animal collections of zootechnical interest: collection and freezing of genetic material of local breeds to complete sampling carried out in previous projects or expansion of the number of species and breeds stored in cryobanks.

3) Biochemical, molecular, metabolic, functional and phenotypic characterization of the material conserved in the biobanks of the BioGenRes network, also in order to carry out association studies and to identify markers associated with traits linked to production and/or adaptation to biotic and abiotic stress factors.

MITICAL - Improvement of the cultivation and production of industrial hemp in Lombardy through innovative cultivation techniques
Start date: 01/07/2020   End date: 30/06/2023

Regione Lombardia

Milano, Lodi, Roma
Monica Mattana

Project duration:
01/07/2020 - 30/06/2023
Financing body:
Regione Lombardia
Project research leader:
Monica Mattana
Headquarters:
Milano, Lodi, Roma

MITICAL - Improvement of the cultivation and production of industrial hemp in Lombardy through innovative cultivation techniques


The MITICAL project aims to deepen knowlege on industrial hemp culture, focusing on the final use of two main products: seeds and flowers. The project will be based on the following activities:

  • analysis of 4 hemp varieties, two monoecius and two dioecious, cultivated in two different pedoclimaticzones in Lombardy region,
  • evaluation of the agronomic performances after different growing condition: control, biostimulant treatment, elicitor treatment,
  • seeds:evaluation of nutritional quality by measuring protein and oil content, fatty acid profile and antinutritional compound content,
  • flowers: evaluation of secondary metabolites content (CBD, THC,) and other polyphenols,
  • study of transcriptome: correlation analysis between gene expression and phenotype/metabolite, identification of allelic polymorphism (SNP) and coexpression network,
  • metagenomic analysis of soil: characterization of fungi, bacteria, metazoa, before and after hemp cultivation.

The project will be hold with the collaboration of agrofarms belonging to the two lombard agriculture districts and the results obtained on seeds will be viable for feed and food industries whereas those on flowers for pharma and cosmetic sector.

BIO-BELIEF BIO-BELIEF: BIOfortification of common Bean to promote heaLthy dIEt and Food security in a context of climatic variation
Start date: 01/06/2021   End date: 31/05/2024

ERA-NET FOSC/MiPAAF

Milano   Website

Eleonora Cominelli

Project duration:
01/06/2021 - 31/05/2024
Financing body:
ERA-NET FOSC/MiPAAF
Project research leader:
Eleonora Cominelli
Headquarters:
Milano
Project website:
Website

BIO-BELIEF BIO-BELIEF: BIOfortification of common Bean to promote heaLthy dIEt and Food security in a context of climatic variation


Common bean is a staple food in many regions in the world. Bean seeds are a major source of dietary fibers, essential amino acid-rich proteins, some vitamins and often display a high content in essential minerals (Fe, Zn, Ca). However, these minerals are scarcely bioavailable, mainly due to the presence of phytic acid. Besides, about 60% of common beans produced worldwide are grown in regions subjected to water stress. The BIO-BELIEF project (ERA-NET FOSC call) aims to select new biofortified and drought resilient bean lines, in order to promote a healthy diet in a general frame of food security. The biofortification traits (incresed seed Fe and decreased phytic acid concentration) will be introgressed in the drought resilient genetic backgrounds. The innovative technology of genome editing will be applied to explore candidate genes involved in drought resilience. The biofortified lines will be exploited by preparing bean-based recipes. The BIO-BELIEF project involves: CNR-IBBA, CREA-GB and the Blumen Group company, Italy; Aix-Marseille University, France; CIAT, Kenya; University of Pretoria, South Africa; EMBRAPA, Brazil.

PRESENTATION VIDEO

AGROBIO
Start date: 01/03/2021   End date: 30/11/2022

Bernardi Corrado srl

Milano
Francesca Sparvoli

Project duration:
01/03/2021 - 30/11/2022
Financing body:
Bernardi Corrado srl
Project research leader:
Francesca Sparvoli
Headquarters:
Milano

AGROBIO


The project is part of a collaboration with the company Blumen within the project ValProfag (funded by POR-FESR Piemonte) whose goal is to facilitate the cultivation of beans and improve their nutritional qualities. In particular, the objective is to obtain bean varieties with higher Fe content, intended both as absolute and bioavailable quantity. IBBA-CNR collaborates in the genetic improvement activities for the phenotyping aspects of the characters of interest (reduction of phytic acid and iron content).

LEGUPLUS - Evaluation of alternative legumes for sustainable and functional pig nutrition
Start date: 14/01/2021   End date: 13/01/2023

MIPAF

Milano, Lodi
Francesca Sparvoli

Project duration:
14/01/2021 - 13/01/2023
Financing body:
MIPAF
Project research leader:
Francesca Sparvoli
Headquarters:
Milano, Lodi

LEGUPLUS - Evaluation of alternative legumes for sustainable and functional pig nutrition


The general objective of the project, coordinated by the University of Milan, is the evaluation of the potential use of new bean lines, with low content of antinutritional factors, and accessions of white lupin and blue lupin of particular interest as innovative protein sources in piglet feeding, both in terms of nutritional efficiency and environmental impact. An in vivo trial in piglets at weaning will allow to evaluate the nutritional efficiency of the new feeds, to identify variations of the intestinal microbiota associated to the different diets that will be tested and, finally, to evaluate the effective bioavailability of macro- and micronutrients and the reduction of environmental impact, both in terms of reduced excretion of phosphorus and minerals, and from the microbiological point of view. IBBA-CNR will be responsible for assessing and providing the bean genetic materials and for the activities related to microbiota analysis.

Projects completed

BIO-ECO "Bioeconomy”
Start date: 01/01/2020   End date: 31/12/2021

MIUR

Milano, Pisa, Roma
Anna Paola Casazza

Project duration:
01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021
Financing body:
MIUR
Project research leader:
Anna Paola Casazza
Headquarters:
Milano, Pisa, Roma

BIO-ECO "Bioeconomy”


The BIO-ECO project, coordinated by the Department of Biology, Agriculture and Food Sciences of CNR, involves a multi-disciplinary team of researchers belonging to nine Institutes spread all over the country. IBBA activities cover:

  • efficient use of natural resources and improvement of photosynthesis / resistance and tolerance of crop plants to abiotic stress (WP2);
  • development and application of agricultural decision support systems (WP3);
  • production of bioactive molecules from plants, microbes and plant cell cultures (WP4);
  • aquatic freshwater plants and microalgae as alternative food sources (WP7).
NewPearl - Combining new phenotyping approaches and next generation sequencing to accelerate breeding in pearl millet, an orphan cereal from arid regions
Start date: 01/05/2013   End date: 30/09/2018

Fondazione Cariplo

Milano
Francesca Sparvoli

Project duration:
01/05/2013 - 30/09/2018
Financing body:
Fondazione Cariplo
Project research leader:
Francesca Sparvoli
Headquarters:
Milano

NewPearl - Combining new phenotyping approaches and next generation sequencing to accelerate breeding in pearl millet, an orphan cereal from arid regions


Pearl millet is a major crop contributing to food security for poor farmers in arid and semi arid regions of the world. The project aims at providing tools and knowledge to accelerate the breeding of new pearl millet varieties with increased nutritional qualities as well as better adaptation to environmental stresses. New phenotyping methods will be used to characterize a collection of 100 pearl millet inbred lines for 1) root system development and interaction with the rhizosphere microbiota and 2) nutritionally important seed compounds: phytic acid and C-glucosylflavones (goitrogen). The impact of certain root phenotypes on agronomical performances will also be assessed in field trials. In parallel, thousands of high quality DNA markers will be produced on the inbred lines for phenotype/genotype association purpose using next generation sequencing technologies. Together, these approaches should lead to the identification of QTLs/genes involved in agronomically relevant root and seed quality traits.

BOBCAt - Biotechnologies for sustainable production of bio-based commodities and specialty products in a cardoon-based biorefinery
Start date: 15/04/2019   End date: 14/04/2021

Fondazione Cariplo

Milano
Francesca Sparvoli

Project duration:
15/04/2019 - 14/04/2021
Financing body:
Fondazione Cariplo
Project research leader:
Francesca Sparvoli
Headquarters:
Milano

BOBCAt - Biotechnologies for sustainable production of bio-based commodities and specialty products in a cardoon-based biorefinery


Aim of the project is the optimization of the use of industrial by-products and wastewaters as growth substrates for plant cell cultures and the optimization of their growth in economically and environmentally sustainable conditions to substantiate the possibility to build a cardoon-based cell biofactory in line with the principles of Circular Economy. Biotechnological approaches, through the RNAi strategy and/or the emerging technique of “genome editing”, on seed/leaf derived calli will be directed to increase monounsaturated fatty acids, while modifying lignin composition for accumulation of different phenolic acids as well as higher digestibility and availability of the cellulose fraction to enzymatic degradation. Furthermore, economic and environmental analysis of the production model of cardoon cells will be performed.

sPATIALS3 - Improvement of agrifood productions and innovative technologies for a safer and more secure and sustainable nutrition
Start date: 01/02/2020   End date: 31/07/2022

Regione Lombardia

Milano, Lodi   Website

Francesca Sparvoli

Project duration:
01/02/2020 - 31/07/2022
Financing body:
Regione Lombardia
Project research leader:
Francesca Sparvoli
Headquarters:
Milano, Lodi
Project website:
Website

sPATIALS3 - Improvement of agrifood productions and innovative technologies for a safer and more secure and sustainable nutrition


sPATIALS3 is a technological and research hub involving 12 CNR Institutes belonging to 4 different Departments and 4 companies. Main objectives will be: obtainment of innovative food products improved for their nutritional and functional properties; provision and implementation of precision technologies to guarantee products quality, safety and traceability; development of innovative and eco-sustainable smart– and active-packaging to minimize and reuse wastes, where possible, and to increase food preservability; provision to consumers and producers of tools for results exploitation.

NUTR-AGE: Nutrition, Diet and Active Aging
Start date: 01/01/2019   End date: 31/12/2021

MUR

Milano, Pisa, Roma   Website

Laura Pucci

Project duration:
01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021
Financing body:
MUR
Project research leader:
Laura Pucci
Headquarters:
Milano, Pisa, Roma
Project website:
Website

NUTR-AGE: Nutrition, Diet and Active Aging


The aim of the project is to evaluate the impact of new functional foods and bioactive compounds on human health, with particular interest in the prevention of the main neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases linked to population aging. Thanks to the integrated approach of different scientific skills it was possible:

1. to select the bioactive compounds present in the different food matrices (including the by-products of the agri-food industry);

2. to identify the richer fractions in the greatest interest products to obtain bio-fortified, functional and pre-pro-post-biotic foods;

3. to study their protective effects through in vitro studies and on animal models;

4. to preserve the biological activities during the processing phases and cooking;

5. to verify their bioavailability and regulation role on the intestinal microbiota.

Istituto

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