National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

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IBBR - Division of Naples

The Institute foundation

The building of the IBBR Naples Division

The building of the IBBR Naples Division

The Naples Division of the IBBR has taken place by merging part of the people formerly working at the Institute of Genetics and Biophysics (IGB) and the Institute of Protein Biochemistry (IBP), along with their lab facilities. The research activities at the Naples Division are aimed at increasing the knowledge on basic biology and are mainly focused on the genetic and biochemical mechanisms underlying the agro-food production and the sustainable use of agro-food resources in the biomedical, biochemical and evironmental fields.

Research activity

All groups in the UOS-NA are active in the area of fundamental biology and application in agriculture, health, industry and environment. In particular, the Naples Division of IBBR is focused on the following research lines:

  • Research on basic biology, model species and organisms of agricultural, forest and environmental interests.
  • Biomolecule characterization and engineering aimed at developing biotechnologies of agricultural, forest and environmental interests.
  • Nutraceutics, functional food, genomic variability, and their role for human health and disease prevention.

Response to stress and molecular adaptation is studied in plants, animals, mammalian cells and microorganisms. Examples include the response to changes of nutrient availability in legume-rhizobia symbiosis and diatoms, to oxidative stress in stem cells and the role of oxygen-binding proteins of polar organisms in oxidative and nitrosative stress. These latter studies also hold environmental interest because marine organisms (especially polar) are indicators of climate changes and pollution. Insight in molecular adaptations to extreme temperatures is also gained through molecular and biochemical studies of proteins from thermophilic and psicrophilic organisms, such as enzymes involved in regulation of protein homeostasis, as well as through (meta)genomic and molecular enzymology approaches to study the biology of thermophilic Archaea. These studies have implication in the field of molecular evolution and origin of life, which is also the subject of theorethical studies.

Other basic biological processes such as fertility, immunity, neurobiology, development, apoptosis, and metabolism are approached using model (C. elegans, D. melanogaster) and mammalian cell systems. Results are translated to organisms of agricultural and environmental interest, to understand the function of conserved genes relevant to human health and to drug discovery. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic model systems are also used to study genome stability by genetic and biochemical approaches. Specific topics are the roles of conserved molecules involved in DNA replication and repair, meiotic recombination, DNA topology, chromosome structure and cohesion. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) secretion from plant and animal cells is studied by the mass spectrometry and proteomic group, which also supports other research lines and develops novel methods in the field.

Biotechnological applications include genetic engineering to improve plant growth and resistance, as well as production and engineering of molecules from microorganisms (including extremophiles), plants, algae, fungi, marine organisms (including polar ones), insects. Examples are carbohydrate-processing enzymes and carbonic anidrases and their application in bio-energy, green chemistry, agro-food, carbon capture and sequestration, bioremediation and drug discovery. A further specialization is the use of nanotechnology for human health, functional food and nutraceuticals by applying nanomaterials to the delivery of bioactive compounds and micronutrients. The role of nutraceuticals and bioregulators in the modulation of cell metabolism and gene expression in normal cells, stem cells and cancer cells and the identification of new allergens from food and environmental sources and their use in allergy diagnosis are also important research lines.

People at the IBBR UOS Naples (before pandemic)

People at the IBBR UOS Naples (before pandemic)

Istituto di Bioscienze e Biorisorse (IBBR/CNR)
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