Professore Associato


The main focus of my scientific investigations has been plant reproductive biology, with special attention to pollen and its developmental process. Initially, my research focused on the cell biology of pollen, proposing it as a model for the analysis of various cellular processes. Over time, I expanded my research from pollen analysis to the study of whole plants. However, my main interest has always remained in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate plant cell functions, taking a broader approach that includes cell-cell and cell-environment interactions. Indeed, a key element of my research concerns plant responses to environmental change, a topic of great contemporary interest. I study this relationship at different levels and with different methodologies, enriching my technical skills in the field of plant biology, from microscopy to physiological, metabolic and genetic analysis. My interdisciplinary research journey has broadened my understanding of plant processes, with the hope that I have contributed to scientific research in this field. Recently, in addition to analyzing genes and proteins that influence the response of plants to environmental stresses, I have explored the metabolic diversity of plants, looking at both species and varieties to understand how individual traits influence the adaptation of plants to their environment. Pollen has remained a central focus of my research, as evidenced by recently approved projects involving the study of self-incompatibility under environmental stress, pollen development in gravity-regulated environments, and the development of artificial pollination methods.

Office hours

  • Friday from 11:00 to 13:00
    Place: via Mattioli 4 piano terra
    Note: Contattare preventivamente il docente

Colloquia with students can also be conducted online. Please contact the instructor in advance by email.

Curriculum Vitae


Recent thesis titles:

Profilo proteico e nutraceutico di farine di castagna sottoposte a diversi metodi di conservazione (M. Sieni)

Utilizzo di marcatori biochimici e funzionali per la valutazione della qualità del polline di olivo (G. Guerrini)

Protezione dallo stress UV nel polline: il potenziale ruolo della proteina DSUP dei tardigradi (E. Angiolini)

Analisi dell'effetto di un fungicida granulare a base di ossicloruro di rame su piante di pomodoro sottoposte a stress idrico: risultati preliminari e prospettive future (F. Costante)

Variazione di composti lipofilici e fenolici in foglie di tre cultivar di olivo (Olea europaea L.) sottoposte a stress idrico (L. Ridente)

Idroponica vs suolo: comparazione fisio-qualitativa su pomodoro (Solanum lycopersicum L.) (A. Todisco)

Teaching activities

I currently teach four undergraduate courses on topics related to plant biology, plant biotechnology, and the relationship between plants and the environment.

Completion accademic year: 2024/2025

Course year: 2 First cycle degree (DM 270) NATURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES A.Y. 2023/2024
Course year: 1 Second cycle degree (Laurea Magistrale) CHEMISTRY FOR AGRIFOOD A.Y. 2024/2025
Course year: 1 First cycle degree (DM 270) AGRIBUSINESS A.Y. 2024/2025
Course year: 1 First cycle degree (DM 270) AGRIBUSINESS A.Y. 2024/2025
Course year: 2 First cycle degree (DM 270) BIOTECNOLOGIE A.Y. 2023/2024
Course year: 1 Second cycle degree (Laurea Magistrale) ECOTOXICOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY A.Y. 2024/2025

Completion accademic year: 2023/2024

Course year: 2 First cycle degree (DM 270) NATURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES A.Y. 2022/2023
Course year: 1 Second cycle degree (Laurea Magistrale) BIOLOGIA A.Y. 2023/2024
Course year: 2 First cycle degree (DM 270) BIOTECHNOLOGIES A.Y. 2022/2023


In recent years, I have received funding for the following research topics:

  1. Analysis of olive processing effluents on cultivated plants (Modolivi Project, Tuscany Region)
  2. Nutraceutical aspects of locally adapted plants (Toscolata project, Tuscany Region)
  3. Use of native plants in the local agricultural production chain (Basiq project, Region of Tuscany)
  4. Analysis of different wheat cultivation methods (Innovacereali project, Tuscany Region)
  5. Study of incompatibility in fruit trees (ISIDE project, Prin 2015)
  6. Innovative fertilization methods for olive trees (Olimpolli project, Tuscany Region)
  7. Analysis of innovative flour products from ancient cereals (Drago project, Region of Tuscany)
  8. Analysis of the presence of Brettanomyces in the wine supply chain (NoBrett project, Tuscany Region)
  9. Analysis of heat stress on citrus propagation (Prin 2022)
  10. Development of mechanized pollination systems for olive trees (Farming Future)
  11. Effects of altered gravity on pollen (ASI).

In addition to the above, there are active lines of research on the effects of UV-B radiation on olive, water and heat stress in tomato, and water stress in olive.

Ultime pubblicazioni:

  • Del Duca, S., Cai, G. (2024). Transglutaminases from plant sources. In Y. Zhang, B.K. Simpson (a cura di), Transglutaminase. Fundamentals and Applications (pp. 21-35). Elsevier - Academic Press [10.1016/b978-0-443-19168-8.00006-7]. - view more
  • Cerri, L., Parri, S., Dias, M.C., Fabiano, A., Romi, M., Cai, G., et al. (2024). Olive Leaf Extracts from Three Italian Olive Cultivars Exposed to Drought Stress Differentially Protect Cells against Oxidative Stress. ANTIOXIDANTS, 13(1) [10.3390/antiox13010077]. - view more
  • Del Casino, C., Conti, V., Licata, S., Cai, G., Cantore, A., Ricci, C., et al. (2024). Mitigation of UV-B Radiation Stress in Tobacco Pollen by Expression of the Tardigrade Damage Suppressor Protein (Dsup). CELLS, 13(10) [10.3390/cells13100840]. - view more
  • Di Noi, A., Caliani, I., D'Agostino, A., Cai, G., Romi, M., Campani, T., et al. (2024). Assessing the effects of a commercial fungicide and an herbicide, alone and in combination, on Apis mellifera: Insights from biomarkers and cognitive analysis. CHEMOSPHERE, 359 [10.1016/j.chemosphere.2024.142307]. - view more
  • Parri, S., Campani, T., Conti, V., Cai, G., Romi, M., Casini, S., et al. (2024). New olive-pomace fertilizer tested with a 2-tiers approach: Biomarkers on Eisenia fetida, physiochemical effects on Solanum lycopersicum and Olea europaea. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, 351 [10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.119915]. - view more