Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Sustainable Crop and Food Protection


The Section deals with plant protection in the field of sustainable agriculture, promoting studies on:

  • morphology, physiology, ethology and systematic of harmful Arthropods and of their antagonists;
  • biology, ecology and epidemiology of main pathogenic agents for crops and on host-pathogen interactions;
  • development and validation of mathematical models for growth of pathogenic agents and pests, and their use in Decision Support Systems (DSSs) for integrated crops protection systems;
  • development of innovative strategies and control systems for pathogens and pests, as for example biocontrol agents and new active ingredients;
    pests and pathogens resistance mechanisms to insecticides and fungicides;
  • bees and pollinators role in agricultural systems;
  • pheromones and their use in plant protection.

The Section, furthermore, deals with food protection and sanitation of commodities manufacturing/processing rooms in the field of food safety, with a special focus on Arthropods infestations and mycotoxin contaminations.

The main fields of interest concern with:

  • morphology, physiology, ethology and systematic of Arthropods (insects and mites) dangerous for foodstuffs;
  • pathogens/arthropods interactions and their effect on mycotoxins production;
  • host-pathogen interactions under different ecological conditions, included the study of the expression of those genes involved in mycotoxins production;
    development of innovative procedures for monitoring and control of pathogens and pests infestations;
  • supply chains management effect on mycotoxin contaminations, identification of sustainable preventive actions, development of predictive models and DSSs to reduce mycotoxin contaminations.