Piero Morandini
Piero Morandini
affiliation: Università di Milano
research area(s): Genetics And Genomics, Stem Cells And Regenerative Medicine
Course: Biomolecular Sciences
University/Istitution: Università di Milano
After receiving a degree in Chemistry at the University of Turin in 1986, Piero Morandini focused his interests on the field of biology. He then worked for three years in Munich at the Max Planck institute for Biochemistry and the Zoological institute of the Ludwig-Maximilian University, specializing in the field of molecular biology and development of Dictyostelium. He moved on to Cambridge (UK), working on the same subject at the Medical Research Council in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology for three years. From 1994 he worked at the University of Milan's Department of Biology in the Plant Physiology and Biochemistry section, working on fundamental problems of plant biology and biotechnology. Since 1999 he has been a researcher in plant physiology, tenured in 2002, teaching Plant Biotechnology and Plant Physiology to biotechnology students at the University of Milan.
Dr Morandini is the author of more than 25 scientific publications in the field of molecular biology and biotechnology in international research journals and one book chapter.
He has been invited to give talks in tens of scientific research centers. He works as a reviewer for many scientific journals and granting bodies.
The focus of the research is to elucidate gene function by coregulation analysis at the transcript level. Together with other people we developed a software tool able to perform correlation analysis on very large datasets (thousands of experiments and tens of thousands of genes) which is versatile enough to be applied to diverse microarray datasets.
Using this tool we predicted the function of several Arabidopsis genes. For instance we predicted that Myb28 and Myb29 are regulators of the aliphatic branch of glucosinolate metabolism. We proved that by isolating single and double KO plants (see Beekwilder et al., 2008). Another gene successfully analysed was a cytochrome P450 involved in iron metabolism (Murgia et al., 2011). Several other genes are under experimental confirmation.
* Morandini P., Salamini F. (2003) Plant biotechnology and breeding: allied for years to come. Trends Plant Sci. 8:70-5.
* Morandini P., Salamini, F. e Gantet P., (2005) Engineering of Plant Metabolism for Drug and Food. Curr. Med. Chem. " Immun., Endoc. & Metab. Agents 5:103-112.
* Viotti C., Luoni L., Morandini P., De Michelis M.I. (2005) Characterization of the interaction between the plasma membrane H-ATPase of Arabidopsis thaliana and a novel interactor (PPI1). FEBS J. 272:5864-71.
* Menges M., Pavesi G., Morandini P., Bogre L., Murray J.A. (2007) Genomic organization and evolutionary conservation of plant D-type cyclins. Plant Physiol. 145:1558-76. http://www.plantphysiol.org/cgi/rapidpdf/pp.107.104901v1 (IF: 6.11)
* Anzi C., Pelucchi P., Vazzola V., Murgia I., Gomarasca S., Beretta Piccoli M. and Morandini P. (2007) The Proton pump interactor (Ppi) gene family of Arabidopsis thaliana: expression pattern of Ppi1 and characterization of Knock Out mutants for Ppi1 and 2. Plant Biology 10:237-49. (IF: 1.94)
* Menges M., Dóczi R., "krész L., Morandini P., Mizzi L., Soloviev M., Murray J.A.H., Bögre L. (2008) Comprehensive gene expression atlas for the Arabidopsis MAP kinase signalling pathways. New Phytologist 179: 643"662.
* Beekwilder J., van Leeuwen W., van Dam N.M., Bertossi M., Grandi V., Mizzi L., Soloviev M., Szabados L., Molthoff J.W., Schipper B., Verbocht H., de Vos R.C., Morandini P., Aarts M.G., Bovy A. (2008) The impact of the absence of aliphatic glucosinolates on insect herbivory in Arabidopsis. PLoS ONE. 3:e2068.
* Morandini P., (2009) Rethinking Metabolic Control. Plant Science, 176:441-51.
* Berri S., Abbruscato P., Faivre-Rampant O., Brasiliero A. C.M., Fumasoni I., Mizzi L., Satoh K., Kikuchi S., Morandini P., Pè M.E. and Piffanelli P. (2009) Characterization of WRKY co-regulatory networks in rice and Arabidopsis, BMC Plant Biol. 9:120 (22p.).
* Morandini P. (2009) Inactivation of allergens and toxins. New Biotechnology 27:482-493.
* Tarantino D, Santo N, Morandini P, Casagrande F, Braun HP, Heinemeyer J, Vigani G, Soave C, Murgia I. (2010) AtFer4 ferritin is a determinant of iron homeostasis in Arabidopsis thaliana heterotrophic cells. J Plant Physiol. 167:1598-605.
* Murgia I, Tarantino D, Soave C, Morandini P (2011) Arabidopsis CYP82C4 expression is dependent on Fe availability and circadian rhythm, and correlates with genes involved in the early Fe deficiency response. J Plant Physiol. 168:894-902.
* Tarantino D, Morandini P, Ramirez L, Soave C, Murgia I (2011) Identification of an Arabidopsis mitoferrin-like carrier protein involved in Fe metabolism. Plant Physiol Biochem. 49:520-9.
Project Title:
Coregulation analysis in rice
We plan to extend the use of the correlation software also to rice data and of other species of agronomical relevance. In order to validate the tool we need to performe several tests:
1) confirm that genes of involved in general process do correlate with other genes in the same process (e.g. photosynthesis, protein synthesis...)
2) analyse group of genes that, according to the literature, do interact or participate in specific processes. We expect genes in a group to be more strongly coregulated. Genes of this class are for instance genes involved in flower meristem identity or in metabolic pathways.
3) Analyse a specific class of genes with a known kind of function (e.g. some family of DNA binding protein) to see if members of the family can be predicted to be involved in specific processes (e.g. metabolism, development, defence...) . Some predictions can then be experimentally tested using for instance knock-out plants.