StaffFrancesca Sparvoli


Informations



E-mail
sparvoli@ibba.cnr.it

Phone
+39 0223699435

Office
Milano

Research area
BIOTEC, QUALY


ORCID: 0000-0002-3304-7548
Google Scholar: Profile
Research Gate: Francesca Sparvoli
Scopus Author ID: 6603486738
WoS Researcher ID: G-8372-2015
Linkedin: Francesca Sparvoli

Sparvoli Francesca

Senior Researcher

Education

1993: PhD in Plant Biology and Crop Production, University of Milan, Italy

1987: Degree with honor in Biological Sciences, University of Milan, Italy

Professional experience

2018: Visisting Scientist in the Recursos Geneticos e Biotecnologia (CENARGEN), EMBRAPA, Brasilia, Brasile

2008/2010/2011/2012/2013: Visisting Scientist in the Centro de Ciencias Genomicas, National University of Mexico, Cuernavaca, Mexico

2007: Visisting Scientist in the “Rhizosphere et Symbiosis” unit, INRA–SupAgro, Montpellier, Francia

2000-Present: Researcher at Institute of Biology and Agricultural Biotechnology, CNR, Milan (since 2007 Senior Researcher)

1993-2000: Post-Doc fellow at Insitute of Plant Biosynthesis (former denomination of Institute of Biology and Agricultural Biotechnology), CNR, Milan

1991-1992: Visisting Scientist in the Department of Plant Genetics, il John Innes Institute, Norwich, U.K

Research interests

  • Improvement of seed nutritional quality: biochemical, genetic and molecular studies to modify bioactive components (nutritional and antinutritional) in common bean seeds.
  • Seed mineral biofortification: isolation and studies of low phytic acid (lpa) mutants.
  • Development of new genetic materials to be exploited for human and animal nutrition.
  • Development of a platform for Genome Editing in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and soybean (Glycine max).

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
Eleonora Cominelli

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

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.
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.

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

Projects completed

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.

FASTBIOS
Start date: 01/06/2018   End date: 31/12/2019

Blumen Group SpA, Molino Zanone

Milano
Francesca Sparvoli

Project duration:
01/06/2018 - 31/12/2019
Financing body:
Blumen Group SpA, Molino Zanone
Project research leader:
Francesca Sparvoli
Headquarters:
Milano

FASTBIOS


Aim of the project is the development of common bean lines/varieties with an improved nutritional profile (biofortified and low anutinutrients) resulting from a breeding program in which the biofortified and low antinutrients parents have been provided by IBBA-CNR. These lines will be used for the production of innovative products, such as bakery products, pasta or snacks, destined to specific target consumers, such as diabetics, celiac or individuals with iron requirements. To this purpose bean flours will be prepared from genotypes with different compositions in nutrients and bioactive compounds.

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.

Istituto

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