The Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Agrarie in Padova, Italy, deals with agricultural microbiology, soil and plant chemistry and food technology. During the last 15 years themes receiving increasing attention were genomic fingerprinting of plants and micro-organisms, quality improvement of foods by cellular and acellular systems and other technologies, exploitation of bioactive molecules in byproducts from food industry, characterization of food allergens and effects of food processing in allergenicity, taxonomical definition of novel microbial species and risk evaluation in the release of genetically modified microorganisms. The microbiology group has expertise in microbiological techniques, DNA handling, microbial enzymology, fermentation processes, construction of genetically modified microorganisms and evaluation at micro and macrocosm levels. There are about 20 permanent research staff positions plus 15 technical staff positions. The microbiology group, engaged in microbial biopolymer research activities since 20 years, was recently involved in the EU-WHEYPOL project as responsible for selection and genetic improvement of the microbial strains. During this project new interesting bacterial strains were isolated and studied and significant results in genetic engineering of C. necator (Wautersia eutropha) were achieved.
The experience gathered will be conveniently utilized in the ANIMPOL project. The efforts of the microbiology group, managed by Prof. Sergio Casella, are devoted to a broad spectrum of investigations covering different aspects, encompassing molecular plant-microbe interactions, biotechnology of bacterial polymers, analysis of microbial communities in natural environments, evaluation of technologically relevant properties of food microorganisms, both for knowledge advancement purposes and for applied endeavors such as industrial applications and management of biological risks inherent to the use and release of genetically modified microorganisms. The approaches take advantage of state of the art methodologies for physio-metabolic assays, microbial enzymology, fermentation processes, molecular cloning, DNA handling, amplification and sequencing The available equipments include: Growth chamber, Microcentrifuges, Thermal cyclers, Real time PCR, Cell-destroyer, Laminar flow hoods, Electroporator, Hybridization oven, Spectrofluorimeter, Spectrophotometer, Gel electrophoresis systems, Gel image acquisition system UV/Vis, Rotavapor, Stereomicroscope, Optical microscope, Fluorescence microscope, Refrigerated centrifuge, GC (split/splitless injector, FID and ECD), DGGE system, Autoclave, Ultrafreezer, HPLC, Trans-blot semidry transfer cell, ELISA absorbance reader, Fraction collector, UV reader, Peristaltic pumps, Pneumatic extractor, Distillator, Fiber filtration system, Sonicator and other facilities such as Phytotron, Spectrometer ICP-OES system, Liquid scintillation analyzer, Super centrifuges, Ultra centrifuge, Bioreactor, HPLC system with DAD detector.
Publications of the partner relevant for ANIMPOL:
Squartini A., Struffi P., Doering H., Selenska-Pobell S., Tola E., Giacomini A., Vendramin E., Velasquez E., Mateos P., Martinez-Molina E., Dazzo F.B., Casella S., Nuti M.P. - 2002 Rhizobium sullae sp. nov. (formerly Rhizobium 'hedysari'): the root-nodule microsymbiont of Hedysarum coronarium L. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. (formerly Int.J.Syst.Bacteriol.) 52: 1267-1276
Basaglia M., Casella S., Peruch U., Poggiolini S., Vamerali T., Mosca G., Vanderleyden J., De Troch P. and Nuti M.P. - 2002 Field release of genetically marked Azospirillum brasilense in association with Sorghum bicolor L. Plant and Soil 256: 281-290
Povolo S. and Casella S. - 2002 Bacterial production of PHA from lactose cheese whey permeate. Macromol. Symp. 197: 1-9
Povolo S., Casella S. - 2004 Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate has an important role for the survival of Rhizobium tropici under starvation. Annals of Microbiology. 54 (3): 307-316
Lante A., Monni S., Spettoli P., Zannoni S., Lamolino G., Toffano P., Povolo S., Casella S. - 2005 Lactose hydrolysis by Maxilact immobilized in an Eupergit reactor. Chemical Engineering Transactions, vol 6 (2), pp. 1091-1096
Russo A., Basaglia M., Casella S. - 2005 Pseudomonas fluorescens 134 as a Biological Control Agent (BCA) Model in Cell Immobilization. Biotech. Progress. 21(1): 309-314
Basaglia M., Baldan E., Toffanin A., Povolo S., Casella S. - 2005 A possibile role of nirK in Rhizobium sullae HCNT1. (Casella S., Basaglia M., Bothe H., eds) COST Action 856. Legnaro (PD), Italy. p 2
Casella S., Shapleigh J. P. , Toffanin A., Basaglia M. - 2006 Investigation into the role of the truncated denitrification chain in Rhizobium sullae strain HCNT1. Biochem. Soc. Transaction 34: 130-132
Basaglia M., Povolo S. and Casella S. - 2006 Effect of oxygen and host plant on resuscitation of viable not culturable Sinorhizobium meliloti41. Current Microbiol. , 54 (3) , 167-174
Basaglia M, Toffanin A, Baldan E, Bottegal M, Shapleigh J.P, Casella S. - 2007 Selenite-reducing capacity of the coppercontaining nitrite reductase of Rhizobium sullae. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 269 (1), 124-130
Corich V., Giacomini A., Vendramin E., Vian P., Carlot M., Concheri G., Polone E., Casella S., Nuti M.P. and Squartini A. - 2007 Long term evaluation of field-released genetically modified rhizobia. Environmental Biosafety Research
Povolo S., Casella S - 2008 Polyhydroxyalkanoates production by bacteria isolated from a polluted salt-lagoon. In: Nadolny A. J.. (Bio)Degradable Polymers from renewable resources. vol. 8, p. 134-140, Vienna: Scientific Center of the Polish Academy of Science