Simona Abbà

My research is currently focussed on:

  • de novo genome assembly and RNAseq analysis of phytoplasmas;
  • in silico study of the grapevine/phytoplasma interactions through a system biology approach;
  • SNP genotyping in grapevine;
  • functional characterization of proteins in Cryphonectria parasitica.

I am also collaborating to the “V2P2 repository” project. This e-infrastructure is designed to preserve and share research data about plant-microbe interactions, such as:

  • high-resolution images showing plant viral infections, plant disease symptoms, insect vectors, plant viral particles, soil fungi, mycorrhized roots, ultrastructure of plant cells, etc.
  • Grey Literature (books of abstract, posters, logs, notes, laboratory notebooks
  • data about the IVV collection of plant virus and phytoplasmas.

During my PhD, I explored the interactions between plants and mycorrhizal fungi (Tuber borchii, in particular). More recently, during my post-doc, I was interested in the possibility of exploiting the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius in the bioremediation of heavy metal-polluted soils. These aspects were investigated mainly with biochemical, cell and molecular biology techniques, using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism to test gene mutations, analyze phenotypes and explore protein–protein interactions (interactomics).


  • Margaria P., Abbà S., Palmano S. Novel aspects of grapevine response to phytoplasma infection investigated by a proteomic and phospho-proteomic approach with data integration into functional networks. (2013) BMC Genomics, 14:38 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-38.
  • Khouja H.-R., Abbà S., Lacercat-Didier L., Daghino S., Dioillon D., Pierre R., Martino E., Vallino V., Perotto S., Chalot M., Blaudez D. (2013) OmZnT1 and OmFET, two metal transporters from the metal-tolerant strain Zn of the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius, confer zinc tolerance in yeast. Fungal Genet Biol., 52:53:64.
  • Abbà S., Vallino M., Daghino S., Di Vietro L., Borriello R., Perotto S. (2011) A PLAC8-containing protein from an endomycorrhizal fungus confers cadmium resistance to yeast cells by interacting with Mlh3p. Nucleic Acids Research, ISSN: 0305-1048, doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr336.
  • Zampieri E, Balestrini R, Kohler A., Abbà S., Martin F., Bonfante P. (2010) The Perigord black truffle responds to cold temperature with an extensive reprogramming of its transcriptional activity. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 48; 585-591.
  • Abbà S., Khouja H.R., Martino E., Archer D.B., Perotto S. (2009). SOD1-Targeted gene disruption in the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius reduces conidiation and the capacity for mycorrhization. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 22:1412-1421
  • Abbà S., Balestrini R., Benedetto A., Rottensteiner H., De Lucas J.R., Bonfante P. (2007) The role of the glyoxylate cycle in the symbiotic fungus Tuber borchii: expression analysis and subcellular localization. Current Genetics, 52:159-170
  • Montanini B., Gabella S., Abbà S., Peter M., Kohler A., Bonfante P., Chalot M., Martin F., Ottonello S. (2006) Gene expression profiling of the nitrogen starvation stress response in the mycorrhizal ascomycete Tuber borchii. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 43:630-641
  • Favero-Longo S.E., Chiapello M., Gazzola V., Abbà S., Messina A., Perotto S., Piervittori R., Tretiach M. (2006). Indagini biochimiche e biomolecolari sul ruolo dei licheni endolitici Bagliettoa baldensis e Verrucaria marmorea nella dissoluzione delle rocce carbonatiche. Notiziario della Società Lichenologica Italiana, 19:95. ISSN: 1121-9165.
  • Abbà S., Ghignone S., Bonfante P. (2006) A dehydration-inducible gene in the truffle Tuber borchii identifies a novel group of dehydrins. BMC Genomics (rivista online), 7:39. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-39
  • Bonfante P., Abbà S., Balestrini R., Faccio A., Gabella G., Mello A., Miozzi L., Vizzini A. (2005) Il contributo della biologia molecolare alla comprensione della diversità genetica e funzionale del tartufo. Informatore Botanico Italiano, 37 (1, B), 700-701.
  • Gabella S., Abbà S., Duplessis S., Montanini M., Martin F., Bonfante P. (2005) Transcript profiling reveals novel marker genes involved in the fruiting body formation in Tuber borchii Eukaryotic Cell, 4: 1599-1602
  • Vallino M., Drogo V., Abbà S., Perotto S. (2005) Gene expression of the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius in the presence of high zinc concentrations. Mycorrhiza, 15: 333-44
  • Lacourt I., S.Duplessis, S.Abbà, P.Bonfante, F. Martin. (2002) Isolation and characterization of differentially expressed genes in the mycelium and fruitbody of Tuber borchii. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 68: 4574-4582
  • Bonfante Paola, Simona Abbà, Antonietta Mello e Isabelle Lacourt (2002) Tecniche molecolari per la diagnostica e la morfogenesi del tartufo. Annali dell’Accademia di Agricoltura di Torino, 75-85.

Book chapters:

  • Perotto S., Martino E., Abbà S., Vallino M (2012). Genetic diversity and functional aspects of ericoid mycorrhizal fungi. In: The Mycota, Volume 9: Fungal Associations. vol. 9, p. 255-285, BERLIN HEIDELBERG:Springer-Verlag, ISBN: 9783642308253
  • Murat, C., Mello, A., Abbà, S., Vizzini, A., Bonfante, P. Edible mycorrhizal fungi: identification, life cycle and morphogenesis (2008) In: Varma, A. (ed.), Mycorrhiza: State of the Art, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Eco-Function, Biotechnology, Eco-Physiology, Structure and Systematics. 3rd ed. Springer, Berlin 707-732. ISBN: 9783540788249



  • 2013 - Novel aspects of grapevine response to phytoplasma infection investigated by a proteomic and phospho-proteomic approach with data integration into functional networks - Margaria, P., Abbà, S., Palmano, S. - BMC Genomics, 14:38