Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Department of Agriculture and Food Science.

Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Department of Agriculture and Food Science.

The Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (DISTAL) was established in 2012 as a result of the union between the Departments of Agricultural Economics and Engineering, the Department of Food Sciences and the Department of Agri-Food Protection and Valorization.

Since 2018, also faculty members of the the Department of Agricultural Sciences (DipSA) have joined DISTAL and nowday it consists of more than 150 scientists, whose research and education activities cover wide topics related to the agricultural and food sciences.

DISTAL is located on two Campus (Bologna and Cesena) and it is currently involved in several national and international projects. In particular, 43 EC funded Projects are currently on-going, 10 of which are coordinated by UNIBO.

Moreover, DISTAL hosts the “Inter-Department Centre of Food Industrial Research” (CIRI-Agroalimentare) that is specifically devoted to the technology transfer to food industry, and particularly to SMEs, within Emilia-Romagna region.DISTAL has been one of the 14 Departments of the University of Bologna which have been funded as Excellent Department under the 2017 Italian Finance Law. 

Research Activity

The plant biotechnology lab research is focused on plant-pathogen interaction study, with particular interests in post-harvest strawberry diseases. The aim of our research is to identify susceptibly and/or resistant genes involved in the plant immune response upon pathogens infections. Recently, we have started to develop RNAi based agrochemicals targeting specific fungal genes crucial for their infection ability.

Relevant Publications:

Merino M.C.; Guidarelli M.; Negrini F.; De Biase D.; Pession A.; Baraldi E., Induced expression of the Fragaria × ananassa Rapid alkalinization factor-33-like gene decreases anthracnose ontogenic resistance of unripe strawberry fruit stages, «MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY», 2019, 20, pp. 1252 – 1263

Nagpala, ELLAINE GRACE; Guidarelli, Michela; Gasperotti, Mattia; Masuero, Domenico; Bertolini, Paolo; Vrhovsek, Urska; Baraldi, Elena, Polyphenols Variation in Fruits of the Susceptible Strawberry Cultivar Alba during Ripening and upon Fungal Pathogen Interaction and Possible Involvement in Unripe Fruit Tolerance, «JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY», 2016, 64, pp. 1869 – 1878

Baraldi, Elena; Coller, Emanuela; Zoli, Lisa; Cestaro, Alessandro; C E Tosatto, Silvio; Zambelli, Barbara, Unfoldome variation upon plant pathogen interactions: strawberry infection by Colletotrichum acutatum, «PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY», 2015, 89, pp. 49 – 65

Zeraye H. Mehari; Pilati, Stefania; Sonego, Paolo; Malacarne, Giulia; Vrhovsek, Urska; Engelen, Kristof; Tudzynski, Paul; Zottini, Michela; Baraldi, Elena; Moser Claudio, Molecular analysis of the early interaction between the grapevine flower and Botrytis cinerea reveals that prompt activation of specific host pathways leads to fungus quiescence., «PLANT, CELL & ENVIRONMENT», 2017, 40, pp. 1409 - 1428


  • Elena Baraldi Project coordinator
  • Daria Zizzola Project Manager