Scientific traineeship in Turin

During the winter period 2022, PhD Tomislav Radić visited the Laboratory of Biology of Plant Interactions led by PhD Raffaella Balestrini at the Institute for the sustainable plant protection in Turin, Italy. There, during three weeks period, under the guidance of experts, he gained methodological knowledge in the determination of expression of genes related to the plant’s response to mycorrhizal status. PhD Radić will transfer the acquired knowledge and skills to his home team at the Institute for Adriatic Crops, where they will work on introducing gene expression methodology into routine use within a project for the purpose of understanding the interactions between grapevine and microorganisms.

PhD student Emanuel Gaši attended a three-week training period which took place from 28th November to 16th December 2022 in the Laboratory for functional genomics, Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, Turin, Italy. Under the guidance of PhD Giorgio Gambino, he gained knowledge on the detection and relative quantification of viruses in various grapevine tissues using real-time quantitative PCR methodology. Learned skills will be applied in further work at home Institute on real time qPCR machine which was acquired from the “MYCO GRAPE” project.

European Researchers’ Night 2022

European Researchers’ Night 2022

On Friday, September 30, 2022, the European Night of Researchers was held. In Marmontova Street, visitors could discover interesting information about the microbiological world that shapes the life of the vine. We showed visitors the symptoms of vine viral diseases, mycorrhizal fungi on vine roots, and lots of other interactive content suitable for all ages.

See you next year at the Night of Researchers!

Grafting of grapevine with virus-infected material

Before the grapevine starts to “wake up”, experts on grafting came to visit our greenhouse. They grafted our uninfected grapevines with buds of virus-infected grapevine by using the “chip budding” grafting method. The success of viral transfer will be determined in two months.

After grafting, pots were reorganized in groups containing one plant from every treatment. The pots will stay in this organization until the end of the experiment.

Determination of viral status in grapevine

We ran the RT-PCR method for the identification of viral isolates in selected grapevine plants that will be used as a viral source for our experiment. Few individuals were tested from the vineyard and we selected plants infected with only one virus (GLRaV-3) and plants that have mixed infections with five different viruses (GFkV, GVA, GLRaV-3, GLRaV-2, and GPGV). The tested grapevines will be used in the next experimental faze – infection of selected treatment with appropriate viral inoculum.

Presentation of the project: “Arbuscular mycorrhiza potential to modify grapevine defence against viruses”

As a part of the lecture series “Friday lectures at 15h” organized by the Institute for Adriatic crops, dr. sc. Tomislav Radić held a presentation of the project “Arbuscular mycorrhiza potential to modify grapevine defense against viruses” funded by the Croatian Science Foundation. Dr. Radić clarified to his audience the term “arbuscular mycorrhiza”, familiarized them with the setup of the experiment, pointed out the importance of this topic on a global and regional scale, and gave answers to many interesting questions that emerged through discussion.

Assessment of grapevine root colonization with arbuscular mychorrizal fungi

In grapevine individuals, inoculated with mychorrizal fungi Rhizophagus irregularis, the root colonization successfulness was determined. Microscopic quantification was carried out with a light microscope. We can report, with pleasure, that almost every specimen was colonized with the rate of colonization exceeding 90 %. This set of plants is ready for the next phase of the experiment.

Blue colored structures are hyphae, vesicles and arbuscules of the mychorizal fungi Rhizophagus irregularis

Methodological workshop “Determination of selected grapevine genes expression”

In the period from 19th to 22nd of September, dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini held a methodological workshop on gene expression determination with qPCR. Using real samples, we went through all the steps necessary for successful relative quantification of gene expression. Introduction to methodology of this kind of analysis, will be of great importance for further progress of the project.


On September 16th and 17th, in the Institute for Adriatic Crops, a Kick off meeting was held. The main objectives of the project, a detailed plan and assigned individual activities were presented to a team of associates from Slovenia, Italy and Croatia. We discussed about a research setup, but mostly about forthcoming activities. The ideas and suggestions were shared, which will greatly help in successful project realisation.

The next day, September 17th, dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini held a presentation named: „AM fungi and grapevine: from biodiversity to functional aspects“ presenting valuable knowledge on mycorhizal and grapevine interactions, acquired through long-term scientific research on arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

We look forward seeing You again. Saluti! Na zdravje! Živjeli!