The Plant Pathology research group is involved in the study of grapevine-pathogen interaction through an integrated approach based on molecular, biochemical and microscopic techniques. Particular interest is paid to the study of the virulence factors of fungi, oomycetes and phytoplasmas and to the immune response triggered in the host plant. Research activity also regards the identification and use of beneficial microorganisms, their derived compounds and phytocomplexes in the control of grapevine pathogens.

Group Leader: Rita Musetti – Full Professor (

Research Group Members

Publications (selection)

  • Peptide analogs of a Trichoderma peptaibol effectively control downy mildew in the vineyard – by Bolzonello Angela, Morbiato Laura, Tundo Silvio, Sella Luca, Baccelli Ivan, Echeverrigaray Sergio, Musetti Rita, De Zotti Marta, Favaron Francesco. Plant Disease, 2023;
  • A phytocomplex obtained from Salvia officinalis by cell culture technology effectively controls the grapevine downy mildew pathogen Plasmopara viticola – by Busato Isabella, Bertaiola Oriana, Tundo Silvio, Guarnerio Chiara, Lucchetta Marco, Sella Luca, Pressi Giovanna, Favaron Francesco. Plants-Basel, 11: 2675, 2022. doi: 10.3390/plants11202675;
  • Targeted amino acid substitutions in a Trichoderma peptaibol confer activity against fungal plant pathogens and protect host tissues from Botrytis cinerea infection – by De Zotti Marta, Sella Luca, Bolzonello Angela, Gabbatore Laura, Peggion Cristina, Bortolotto Alessandro, Elmaghraby Ibraim, Tundo Silvio, Favaron Francesco. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(20):7521. 2021. doi:10.3390/ijms21207521;
  • Gimme shelter: three-dimensional architecture of the endoplasmic reticulum, the replication site of grapevine Pinot gris virus – by Pagliari Laura, Tarquini Giulia, Loschi Albert, Buoso Sara, Kapun Gregor, Ermacora Paolo, Musetti Rita. Functional Plant Biology 48(10) 1074-1085. 2021;
  • NoPv1: a synthetic antimicrobial peptide aptamer targeting the causal agents of grapevine downy mildew and potato late blight – by Colombo M., Masiero S., Rosa S., Caporali E., Toffolatti S.L., Mizzotti C., Tadini L., Rossi F., Pellegrino S., Musetti R., Velasco R., Perazzolli M., Vezzulli S., Pesaresi P. Scientific Reports, 10:17574. 2020;
  • Jasmonate-mediated defence responses, unlike salicylate-mediated responses, are involved in the recovery of grapevine from bois noir disease – by Paolacci Anna Rita, Catarcione Giulio, Ederli Luisa, Zadra Claudia, Pasqualini Stefania, Badiani Maurizio, Musetti Rita, Santi Simonetta, Ciaffi Mario. BMC Plant Biology, 17: 118. 2017;
  • Recovery from stolbur disease in grapevine involves changes in sugar transport and metabolism – by Santi Simonetta, De Marco Federica, Polizzotto Rachele, Grisan Simone, Musetti Rita.Frontiers in Plant Science vol 4: pp. 171-182. 2013;
  • Laser microdissection of grapevine leaf phloem infected by stolbur reveals site-specific gene responses associated to sucrose transport and metabolism – by Santi Simonetta, Grisan Simone, Pierasco Alessandro, De Marco Federica, Musetti Rita. Plant, Cell & Environment 36: 343-355. 2013. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2012.02577.x