The University of Padua (UNIPD) was founded in the 13th century and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. Today it is one of the largest universities in Italy, enrolling around 60.000 students. The University of Padova is active in many fields of research and was ranked 1st in the last research evaluation of the Italian Ministry of Research. The scientific objectives of the department of Biology encompass most of the fields of modern biology, from the study of the different levels of organizations, from molecules to organisms and ecosystems, to the evolutionary ecology themes. The Department of Biology was recognized as “Department of Excellence” from the Italian Ministry of Research.
- Prof. Tomas Morosinotto
- Dr. Alessandro Alboresi
UNIPD will collect and analyze photosynthetic data from various plant genotypes generated by partners, focusing on using portable devices for large scale, multiuser cloud-connected analysis. UNIPD will be in charge of generation in Nannochloropsis and P. patens genetically modified lines, contributing to their phenotypic characterization.
UNIPD team lead by Prof. Tomas Morosinotto focuses on the study of photosynthesis in different organisms. Information from basic research is exploited for the development of new strategies industrial production of biomolecules from algae. The objective of the research is to improve algae efficiency in converting light into biomass and key limiting steps of photosynthesis are being identified. Information obtained are exploited to develop genetically engineered strains with improved productivity for a possible industrial application. This project was awarded in 2012 of an ERC Starting Grant entitled: “BioLEAP — Biotechnological optimization of light use efficiency in algae photobioreactors” and is now continuing thanks to the support of private partners, including ENI.