Maria Saponari

Dr. Maria Saponari graduated in 1997 in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Bari; in 2001 after she got her PhD in Plant Virology at University of Bari, she joined the research group at the Institute of   Plant Virology – CNR. Dr. Saponari originally worked on the detection and characterization of olive-infecting viruses, contributing to extend the knowledge on olive viruses, to develop protocols for sanitary assessment and clean stock program for the production of virus-free olive plants. In 2003, she extented her research to citrus infecting viruses, particularly, on the Citrus tristeza virus (CTV). Through the support of the CNR short-term mobility program 2006 and 2007, she has been visiting scientist at the USDA, Parlier – California. In the framework of these stages, different activities were developed on CTV: biological characterization, molecular characterization, development of protocol through real-time RT-PCR for detection and strain differentiation of CTV, in vitro and in vivo CTV transmission by aphids, field survey. The collaboration established with the USDA resulted in different cooperative agreement with the CNR, to develop innovative researches: one of the first joint project (2008-2012) aimed to characterize the small interfering RNA associated to cross-protection phenomenon in CTV infected plants. Recently, Dr. Saponari partecipated to the project funded by California Department of Food and Agriculture on “Development of high throughput detection of RNA and DNA citrus pathogens” (2010-2013). The activities begun within the above mentioned projects on these new aspects of the molecular research, have been extended in 2011, in the framework of the national project OLEA to olive crops. Specifically, Dr. Saponari is conducting researches aimed to determine the miRNA profile and the role of transposable elements in epigenetic control.



  • 2012 - Identification and Characterization of Citrus yellow vein clearing virus, A Putative New Member of the Genus Mandarivirus - Loconsole,G., Önelge,N., Potere,O., Giampetruzzi, A., Bozan, O., Satar, S., De Stradis A., Savino V., Yokomi, R.K. & Saponari M. - Phytopathology, 1168-1175
  • 2012 - Identification of a single-stranded DNA virus associated with citrus chlorotic dwarf disease, a new member in the family Geminiviridae - Loconsole, G., Saldarelli, P., Doddapaneni, H., Savino, V., Martelli, G.P., Saponari, M. - Virology, 162-172
  • 2010 - La Tristeza Degli Agrumi E I Rischi Per L’agrumicoltura In Italia. - Barbarossa L., Saponari M. - Protezione Delle Colture , volume 3(1) pag. 22-27
  • 2008 - Quantitative Detection Of Citrus Tristeza Virus (ctv) In Citrus And Aphids By Real-time Reverse Transcription-pcr (taqman®) - Saponari, M., Keremane, M.l., Yokomi, R.k. - Journal Of Virological Methods (03232J0), volume 147 pag. 43-53
  • 2008 - Pcr-based Detection Of Spiroplasma Citri Associated With Citrus Stubborn Disease - Yokomi, R.k., Mello, A., Saponari, M., Fletcher, J. - Plant Disease (01997J0), volume 92 pag. 253-260
  • 2007 - Diagnosi Molecolare Di Virus Delle Piante. Aspetti Di Applicabilità Delle Tecniche. - Saldarelli, P., Saponari, M. - Informatore Fitopatologico , volume 57/11 pag. 21-23
  • 2003 - Virus Ed Agenti Virus-simili Dell’olivo. - Saponari M., Savino V. - Informatore Fitopatologico , volume 53 pag. 25-29
  • 2003 - Miglioramento Sanitario Di Drupacee, Olivo E Vite. - Saponari M., La Notte P., Bottalico G., Bazzoni A., Amenduini T., Cardone A., Pirolo C., Campanale A. - Italus Hortus , volume 10 pag. 279-282
  • 2003 - I Punti Critici Della Filiera Vivaistica Di Agrumi ,di Drupacee, Olivo E Vite Da Tavola. - Bazzoni A., Ippolito A., Cariddi C., Faretra F., Nigro F., Pollastro S., Savino V., Martelli G P., Boscia D., Saponari M., Vovlas N., Digiaro M., D'onghia A., Trisciuzzi N., Tauro G., Dongiovanni C. - Italus Hortus , volume 10 pag. 279-282
  • 2002 - Trasmissione Per Seme Dei Virus Dell’olivo - Saponari M., Savino V., Martelli G.p. - Frutticultura , Publisher: 4
  • 2002 - Norme Fitosanitarie E Commercializzazione Delle Produzioni Vivaistiche: I Contributi Del Progetto Pom A32 - Bazzoni A., Saponari M., Amenduni T., Boscia D., Ippolito A., Pollastro S., Savino V. - Frutticoltura , Publisher: 4