Fundamental researches on molecular aspects of plant-virus interaction focusing on RNA silencing, viral replication in plants and molecular basis of viral symptoms:
a) molecular characterization of virus-derived smallRNAs acting in RNA silencing-based antiviral defense and in targeting plant mRNAs;
b) identification of plant endogenous small RNAs involved in plant virus interaction;
c) characterization of AGO proteins and complexes involved in antiviral RNA silencing.
Applied researches on the use of RNA silencing-based :
a) non-transgenic strategies for helping plants against viruses:
b) developing protocols and algorithms for identifying novel unknown infectious agent based of viral siRNAs libraries;
c) set-up of in vitro systems able to test the efficacy of synthetic siRNAs against viruses.