Chiara Tonelli
Chiara Tonelli
affiliation: Università di Milano
research area(s): Genetics And Genomics, Molecular Biology
Course: Biomolecular Sciences
University/Istitution: Università di Milano
Chiara Tonelli is Professor of Genetics at the University of Milan, Italy, and leader of the Plant Molecular Genetic Group of the Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology at Milan. She is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).
Chiara has served on numerous scientific committees and science advisory boards in Italy and elsewhere. Currently she is a member of the Advisory Group for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology of the European Commission, and of the European Expert Group for Food and Health Research, member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the JPI "Healthy Diet for healthy Life", a board member of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO), and a member of the Research and Technological Transfer Committee of the University of Milan. She has been member of the National Research Centre (CNR) Committee for Biology and Medicine and member of the Biosafety Committee of Italian Ministry of Environment.
She has published more than 100 papers on international scientific journals and has been responsible of several projects funded by Italian Agencies and European Union and she has scientific collaborations with several European groups.
She serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals (Molecular Cell, Molecular and Cellular Biology, EMBO Journal, Plant Cell, Plant Journal, Plant Molecular Biology) and grant-awarding agencies (USDA, EMBO, TWAS, Human Frontier, ERC).
Since 2005 Chiara has been Secretary General of the World Conference on the Future of Science, a cycle of international conferences that gathers together eminent experts from various disciplines to discuss the implications of scientific progress and increase the awareness of society as a whole, not only of the benefits of science, but also of the problems and dilemmas that continuing scientific advance creates. Each year the Conference considers a different scientific theme of crucial significance to society, and examines the implications and benefits of progress in that area.
Her scientific interests range from fundamental aspects of plant biology to biotechnological applications. The major aim of her studies is to decipher the logic of transcriptional control and gene regulation in plant model systems (Arabidopsis, maize, tomato) both during development and in interactions with the environment. She contributed to the identification and molecular characterization of regulatory gene families responsible for the coordinated control of flavonoid and anthocyanin metabolic pathways in plants. She discovered an interaction between duplicated genes, termed REED (reduced expression of endogenous duplications), in which the epigenetic mechanism of DNA methylation of promoter regions silences gene expression. More recently she discovered the first transcription factor specifically regulating stomata movements in plants, a finding that opens up new possibilities for improving crop survival and productivity in water scarcity conditions.
A second major focus is to understand the role of bioactives (such as flavonoids and anthocyanins) in preventing chronic diseases, such as obesity and cancer. She is developing model foods enriched in specific nutrients/bioactives and use them in feeding trials in animal models to assess the impact of such compounds on health using "omic technologies.
Cominelli, E., Gusmaroli, G., Allegra, D., Galbiati, M., Wade, H. K., Jenkins, G. I. and Tonelli, C. (2008). Expression analysis of anthocyanin regulatory genes in response to different light qualities in Arabidopsis thaliana. J Plant Physiol 165, 886-94.
Cominelli, E., Sala, T., Calvi, D., Gusmaroli, G. and Tonelli, C. (2008). Over-expression of the Arabidopsis AtMYB41 gene alters cell expansion and leaf surface permeability. Plant J 53, 53-64. IF 6,95
Galbiati, M., Simoni, L., Pavesi, G., Cominelli, E., Francia, P., Vavasseur, A., Nelson, T., Bevan, M. and Tonelli, C. (2008). Gene trap lines identify Arabidopsis genes expressed in stomatal guard cells. Plant J 53, 750-62.
Giuntini, D., Lazzeri, V., Calvenzani, V., Dall'Asta, C., Galaverna, G., Tonelli, C., Petroni, K. and Ranieri, A. (2008). Flavonoid profiling and biosynthetic gene expression in flesh and peel of two tomato genotypes grown under UV-B-depleted conditions during ripening. J Agric Food Chem 56, 5905-15.
Petroni, K., Falasca, G., Calvenzani, V., Allegra, D., Stolfi, C., Fabrizi, L., Altamura, M. M. and Tonelli, C. (2008). The AtMYB11 gene from Arabidopsis is expressed in meristematic cells and modulates growth in planta and organogenesis in vitro. J Exp Bot 59, 1201-13.
Toufektsian, M. C., de Lorgeril, M., Nagy, N., Salen, P., Donati, M. B., Giordano, L., Mock, H. P., Peterek, S., Matros, A., Petroni, K., Pilu, R., Rotilio, D., Tonelli, C., de Leiris, J., Boucher, F. and Martin, C. (2008). Chronic dietary intake of plant-derived anthocyanins protects the rat heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury. J Nutr 138, 747-52.
Francia, P., Simoni, L., Cominelli, E., Tonelli, C. and Galbiati, M. (2008). Gene trap-based identification of a guard cell promoter in Arabidopsis. Plant Signaling & Behavior 3:9, 1-3
Cominelli, E., Galbiati, M., Tonelli, C. (2008). Integration of water stress response: Cell expansion and cuticle deposition in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Signaling & Behavior 3:8, 1-2.
V. Calvenzani, M. Martinelli, V. Lazzeri, D. Giuntini, C. Dall’Asta, G. Galaverna, C. Tonelli, A. Ranieri, K. Petroni, (2009), Response of wild-type and high pigment-1 tomato fruit to UV-B depletion : flavonoid profiling and gene expression, In: Planta, 231, 3, 755-765
E. Becatti, K. Petroni, D. Giuntini, A. Castagna, V. Calvenzani, G. Serra, A. Mensuali-Sodi, C. Tonelli, A. Ranieri, (2009), Solar UV-B radiation influences carotenoid accumulation of tomato fruit through both ethylene-dependent and -independent mechanisms, In: Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 57, 22, 10979-10989
N.A. Eckardt, E. Cominelli, M. Galbiati, C. Tonelli, (2009), The Future of Science: Food and Water for Life, In: Plant cell, 21, 2, 368-372
E. Cominelli, C. Tonelli, (2009), A new role for plant R2R3-MYB transcription factors in cell cycle regulation, In: Cell Research, 19, 11, 1231-1232
E. Cominelli, M. Galbiati, C. Tonelli, C. Bowler (2009) Water, the invisible problem. In: EMBO reports, 7:671-675
L. Titta, M. Trinei, M. Stendardo, I. Berniakovich, K. Petroni, C. Tonelli, P. Riso, M. Porrini, S. Minucci, P.G. Pelicci, P. Rapisarda, G. Reforgiato Recupero, M. Giorgio, (2010), Blood orange juice inhibits fat accumulation in mice, In: International Journal of Obesity, 34, 3, 578-588
K. Petroni, R. Pilu, V. Calvenzani, C. Tonelli, M.C. Toufektsian, M. de Lorgeri, L. Titta, M. Giorgio, (2010), Anthocyanin-Rich Model Foods and their Role in Cardioprotection and Obesity, In: Journal of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics, 3 (2-3) 76
M Landoni, A De Francesco, M Galbiati and C Tonelli (2010). “A loss-of-function mutation in Calomodulin2 gene affects pollen germination in Arabidopsis thaliana “. In: Plant Mol Biol 74(3):235-247
E. Cominelli, M. Galbiati, C. Tonelli (2010). Transcription factors controlling stomatal movements and drought tolerance /- In: Transcription. - ISSN 2154-1264. - 1:1, pp. 41-45.
E. Cominelli, C. Tonelli(2010). Transgenic crops coping with water scarcity - In: New Biotechnology. - 27:5, pp. 473-477.
A. Skirycz, K. Vandenbroucke, P. Clauw, K. Maleux, B. De Meyer, S. Dhondt, A. Pucci, N. Gonzalez, F. Hoeberichts, V.B. Tognetti, M. Galbiati, C. Tonelli, F. Van Breusegem, M. Vuylsteke, D. Inzé (2011). Survival and growth of Arabidopsis plants given limited water are not equal - In: Nature Biotechnology. - - 29:3, pp. 212-214.
M.C. Toufektsian, P. Salen, F. Laporte, C. Tonelli, M. de Lorgeril (2011). Dietary flavonoids increase plasma very long-chain (n-3) fatty acids in rats - In: The Journal of Nutrition. - 141:1, pp. 37-41. IF 4,09
Martin C., Butelli E., Petroni K., C. Tonelli How can research on plants contribute positively to human diets and health? Plant Cell, 2011 doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.083279 IF 9,29

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