Alessandro Vitale

Associate Professor of Plant pathology [AGR/12]

Update to may 10 2024

From 1st December 2020 Alessandro Vitale is Associate Professor. From November 1, 2022 he is the Responsible delegate for Orientation at Di3A. Previously, he held the role of Researcher with a temporary contract (RTD) letter b) from 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2020, according to current legislation (Leg. N. 240/2010) and even before (from 3 November 2014 to 30 November 2017) the role of RTD letter a) at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) of the University of Catania, where he carries out teaching and research activities in the field of plant pathology. He obtained a PhD in plant pathology at the University of Catania in 2004 and he has obtained a 48-month (2010-2014) research fellowship (prior of Law 240/2010) entitled "Integrated management strategies of soilborne diseases and survival of soilborne agents" at the Department of Agri-Food and Environmental Systems Management (now Di3A) and previously he has obtained an annual research fellowship entitled "Validation of integrated disease management against pathogens of soil and substrates used for cultivation of horticultural and floro-ornamental crops". In the past, he holds teaching courses referred to "Plant Pathology" and he has held as Professor since 2005/06 until 2010/11 the courses of "Phytoiatria (Plant Protection)" and "Fundamental aspects and teaching of plant pathology". From 2015/2016 to nowadays (2023/2024) he is the holder of the course of "Mycology in Plant Pathology" (6 credits in degree course L25), "Phytopatogenic fungi and Micotoxins" (6 credits in degree course L26R from a.a. 2021/22 to current 2023/24) and relatively to academical year 2020/21 the course of "Phytoiatria (Plant Protection)" (6 credits in master's degree LM69). His research activity focuses on diagnosis of phytopathogenic fungi causing new and/or not-reported diseases of commercial crops (horticultural, ornamental, fruit trees, tropica crops, etc.), soilborne pathogens, plant disease management (including biological and agronomic means as well as grafting and BCAs use, chemicals use at low rates, physical means as well as soil solarization and integrated control means). Survey, detection and solutions to overcome fungicide resistance in plant pathogens; biological control of post-harvest diseases on grapevine and citrus; and use of induced systemic resistance on plants and use of transgenic plants for the control of plant diseases represent other important research topics.

Last edit: 05/10/2024

Updated to may 10 2024

  1. CASTELLO I., POLIZZI G., VITALE A. 2023. Major pathogens affecting carob in the Mediterranean basin: current knowledge and outlook in Italy. Pathogens, 12(11), 1357.
  2. VITALE A. 2023. Epidemiology and control of plant diseases. Plants, 12(4), 793.
  3. GUSELLA G., FIORE G, VITALE A.FELTS, D.G.MICHAILIDES, T.J. 2023. New findings on the effects of different factors involved in fig limb dieback caused by Neoscytalidium dimidiatum in California. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 167(1), 89-97.
  4. LEONARDI G.R. POLIZZI G., VITALE A., AIELLO D. 2023. Efficacy of biological agents and resistance inducer for control of Mal secco disease. Plants, 12(9) 1735.
  5. CALDERONE F., VITALE A.*, PANEBIANCO S., LOMBARDO M.F., CIRVILLERI G. 2022. COS-OGA Applications in Organic Vineyard Manage Major Airborne Diseases and Maintain Postharvest Quality of Wine Grapes. Plants 11, 1763.
  6. CASTELLO I., D’EMILIO A., BAGLIERI A., POLIZZI G., VITALE A.* 2022. Management of Chrysanthemum Verticillium Wilt through VIF Soil Mulching Combined with Fumigation at Label and Reduced Rates. Agriculture, 12, 141.
  7. AIELLO D., LEONARDI G.R., DI PIETRO C., VITALE A.*, POLIZZI G. 2022. A New Strategy to Improve Management of Citrus Mal Secco Disease Using Bioformulates Based on Bacillus amyloliquefaciens Strains. Plants, 11, 446.
  8. FRAGALÀ F.†, CASTELLO I. †, PUGLISI I., PADOAN E., BAGLIERI A., MONTONERI E., VITALE A. 2022. New insights into municipal biowaste derived products as promoters of seed germination and potential antifungal compounds for sustainable agriculture. Chemical and Biological Technologies in Agriculture. Chemical and Biological Technologies in Agriculture, 9, 69.
  9. AIELLO D., VITALE A., PANEBIANCO A. LOMBARDO M., ANZALONE A., CATARA V., CIRVILLERI G. 2022. In vitro and in vivo antibacterial activity of copper alternative products against Xanthomonas euvesicatoria pv. perforans causing leaf spot and pith necrosis of tomato. Acta Hortic. 1354. ISHS, 223-230.
  10. GUGLIUZZO A., AIELLO D., BIONDI A., GIURDANELLA G., SISCARO G., ZAPPALÀ L., VITALE A.*, Garzia G.T., Polizzi G. 2022. Microbial mutualism suppression by Trichoderma and Bacillus species for controlling the invasive ambrosia beetle Xylosandrus compactus. Biological Control, 170, 104929.
  11. AIELLO D., GUSELLA G., VITALE A.*, POLIZZI G. 2022. Characterization of Fusarium nirenbergiae and F. elaeidis causing diseases on Dipladenia and Grevillea plants. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 62:885–896.
  12. MAURO R.P., PÉREZ-ALFOCEA F., COOKSON S.J., OLLAT N., VITALE A. 2022. Editorial: Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Plant Rootstock-Scion Interactions. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13, 852518.
  13. AIELLO D., GUARNACCIA V., VITALE A., LE BLANC N., SHISHKOFF N., POLIZZI G. 2022. Impact of Calonectria Diseases on Ornamental Horticulture: Diagnosis and Control Strategies. Plant Disease, 106, 1773-1787.
  14. VITALE A.,* AIELLO D., AZZARO A., GUARNACCIA V., POLIZZI G. 2021. An Eleven-Year Survey on Field Disease Susceptibility of Citrus Accessions to Colletotrichum and Alternaria Species. Agriculture, 11, 536.
  15. AIELLO D., FIORENZA A., LEONARDI G.R., VITALE A.*, POLIZZI G. 2021 Fusarium nirenbergiae (Fusarium oxysporum Species Complex) Causing the Wilting of Passion Fruit in Italy, Plants, 10, 2011.
  16. AIELLO D., VITALE A.,* PERRONE G., TESSITORI M., POLIZZI G. 2020. Can biological control agents reduce multiple fungal infections causing decline of milkwort in ornamental nursery? Plants 9(12), 1682.
  17. PUGLISI I., BARONE V., FRAGALÀ F., STEVANATO P., BAGLIERI A., VITALE A.* 2020. Effect of microalgal extracts from Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus quadricauda on germination of Beta vulgaris seeds. Plants 9(6), 675.
  18. AIELLO G., GUSELLA G., VITALE A., GUARNACCIA V., POLIZZI G. 2020. Cylindrocladiella peruviana and Pleiocarpon algeriense causing stem and crown rot on avocado (Persea americana). European Journal of Plant Pathology 158, 419-430.
  19. VITALE A.*, ALFENAS A.C., DE SIQUEIRA D.L., MAGISTÀ D., PERRONE G., POLIZZI G. 2020. Cultivar resistance against Colletotrichum asianum in the world collection of mango germplasm in southeastern Brazil. Plants-MDPI, 9:182.
  20. AIELLO D., VITALE A., POLIZZI G., VOGLMAYR, H. 2020. Ochraceocephala foeniculi gen. et sp. nov., a new pathogen causing crown rot of fennel in Italy. MycoKeys, 66:1-22;
  21. MUCCILLI V., VITALE A.,* SHENG L., GENTILE A.,* CARDULLO N., TRINGALI C., OLIVERI C., LA ROSA R., DI GUARDO M., LA MALFA S., DENG Z., DISTEFANO G. 2020. Substantial equivalence of a transgenic lemon fruit showing postharvest fungal pathogens resistance. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 68, 3806-3816.
  22. AIELLO D., VITALE A., POLIZZI G. 2020. Sustainable approach for soil and substrate disinfestation against soilborne pathogens in nursery. Acta Hortic. 1270, 197-202.
  23. AIELLO D., RESTUCCIA C., STEFANI E., VITALE A.*, CIRVILLERI G. 2019. Postharvest biocontrol ability of Pseudomonas synxantha against Monilinia fructicola and Monilinia fructigena on stone fruit. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 149: 83-89.
  24. PICCIRILLO G., CARRIERI R., POLIZZI G.., AZZARO A., LAHOZ E., FERNÁNDEZ-ORTUÑO D., VITALE A.* 2018. In vitro and in vivo activity of QoI fungicides against Colletotrichum gloeosporioides causing fruit anthracnose in Citrus sinensis. Scientia Horticulturae, 236: 90-95.
  25. AIELLO D., VITALE A.*, ALFENAS R.F., ALFENAS A.C., CIRVILLERI G., POLIZZI G. 2018. Effects of sublabeled rates of dazomet and metam-sodium applied under low-permeability films on Calonectria microsclerotia survival. Plant Disease, 102(4): 782-789.
  26. CASTELLO I., D'EMILIO A., RAVIV M., VITALE A.* (2017). Soil solarization as a sustainable solution to control tomato Pseudomonas infections in greenhouses. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 37(6) article 59.
  27. AIELLO D., VITALE A.*, LA RUOTA A.D., POLIZZI G., CIRVILLERI G. (2017). Synergistic interactions between Pseudomonas spp. and Xanthomonas perforans in enhancing tomato pith necrosis symptoms. Journal of Plant Pathology, 99: 731-740.
  28. CINQUERRUI A., POLIZZI G., AIELLO D., VITALE A.* (2017). Integrated management for the reduction of Calonectria infections in ornamental nurseries. Plant Disease, 101(1):165-169.
  29. PARAFATI L., VITALE A., RESTUCCIA C., CIRVILLERI G. (2017). Performance evaluation of organic volatile compounds by antagonistic yeasts immobilized on hydrogel spheres against gray, green and blue postharvest decays. Food Microbiology, 63:191-198.
  30. PARAFATI L., VITALE A., RESTUCCIA C., CIRVILLERI G. (2016). The effect of locust bean gum (LBG)-based edible coatings carrying biocontrol yeasts against Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum causal agents of postharvest decay of mandarin fruit. Food Microbiology, 58: 87-94.
  31. GUARNACCIA V., VITALE A.*, CIRVILLERI G., AIELLO D., SUSCA A., EPIFANI F., PERRONE G., POLIZZI G. (2016). Characterisation and pathogenicity of fungal species associated with branch cankers and stem-end rot of avocado in Italy. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 146(4):963-976.
  32. VITALE A.*, PANEBIANCO A., POLIZZI G. (2016). Baseline sensitivity and efficacy of fluopyram against Botrytis cinerea from table grape in Italy. Annals of Applied Biology, 169: 36-45.
  33. PANEBIANCO A., CASTELLO I., CIRVILLERI G., PERRONE G., EPIFANI F., FERRARA M., POLIZZI G., D.R. WALTERS, VITALE A.* (2015). Detection of Botrytis cinerea field isolates with multiple fungicide resistance from table grape in Sicily. Crop Protection, 77: 65-73.
  34. AIELLO D., FERRANTE P., VITALE A., POLIZZI G., SCORTICHINI M., CIRVILLERI G., (2015). Characterization of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae isolated from mango in Sicily and occurrence of copper-resistant strains. Journal of Plant Pathology, 97(2):273-282.
  35. AIELLO D., CARRIERI R., GUARNACCIA V., VITALE A.*, LAHOZ E., POLIZZI G. (2015). Characterization and pathogenicity of Colletotrichum gloesporioides and C. karstii causing pre-harvest diseases on Citrus sinensis in Italy. Journal of Phytopathology, 163(3):168-177.
  36. PANEBIANCO S., VITALE A.,* POLIZZI G., SCALA F., CIRVILLERI G. (2015). Enhanced control of postharvest citrus fruit decay by means of the combined use of compatible biocontrol agents. Biological Control, 84:19-27.
  37. PARAFATI L., VITALE A., RESTUCCIA C., CIRVILLERI G. (2015). Biocontrol ability and action mechanism of food-isolated yeast strains against Botrytis cinerea causing post-harvest bunch rot of table grape. Food Microbiology, 47:85-92.
  38. VITALE A., ROCCO M.P., ARENA S., GIUFFRIDA F., CASSANITI C., SCALONI A., LOMAGLIO T., GUARNACCIA V., POLIZZI G., MARRA M., LEONARDI C. (2014) Tomato susceptibility to Fusarium crown and root rot: Effect of grafting combination and proteomic analysis of tolerance expression in the rootstock. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 83: 207-216.
  39. GUARNACCIA V., AIELLO D., POLIZZI G., PERRONE G., STEA G., VITALE A.* (2014). Emergence of prochloraz-resistant populations of Calonectria pauciramosa and Calonectria polizzii in ornamental nurseries of southern Italy. Plant Disease 98 (3): 344-350.
  40. VITALE A.*, CASTELLO I., D’EMILIO A., MAZZARELLA R., PERRONE G., EPIFANI F., POLIZZI G. (2013). Short-term effects of soil solarization in suppressing Calonectria microsclerotia. Plant and Soil 368(1-2): 603-617.
  41. VITALE A., CROUS P.W., LOMBARD L., POLIZZI G. (2013). Calonectria diseases on ornamental plants in Europe and the Mediterranean basin: an overview. Journal of Plant Pathology 95(3): 463-476.
  42. AIELLO D., CIRVILLERI G., POLIZZI G., VITALE A. (2013). Effects of fungicides treatments for the control of epidemic and exotic Calonectria diseases in Italy. Plant Disease 97 (1): 37-43.
  43. VITALE A.*, CIRVILLERI G., CASTELLO I., AIELLO D., POLIZZI G. (2012). Evaluation of Trichoderma harzianum strain T22 as biological control agent of Calonectria pauciramosa. BioControl 57 (5): 687-696.
  44. VITALE A.*, CIRVILLERI G., PANEBIANCO A., EPIFANI F., PERRONE G., POLIZZI G. (2012). Molecular characterisation and pathogenicity of Aspergillus Sect. Nigri causing Aspergillus vine canker of table grapes in Italy. European Journal of Plant Pathology 132 (4): 483-487.
  45. VITALE A.*, AIELLO D., GUARNACCIA V., PERRONE G., STEA G., POLIZZI G. (2012). First report of root rot caused by Ilyonectria (=Neonectria) macrodydima on avocado (Persea americana) in Italy. Journal of Phytopathology 160 (3): 156-159.
  46. LOMBARD L., POLIZZI G., GUARNACCIA V., VITALE A., CROUS P.W., (2011). Calonectria spp. causing leaf spot, crown and root rot of ornamental plants in Tunisia. Persoonia 27: 73-79.
  47. VITALE A., CASTELLO I., CASCONE G., D’EMILIO A., MAZZARELLA R., POLIZZI G. (2011). Reduction of corky root infections on tomato greenhouse crops by soil solarization in south Italy. Plant Disease 95 (2): 195-201.
  48. DISTEFANO G., LA MALFA S., VITALE A., LORITO M., DENG Z., GENTILE A. (2008). Defence-related gene expression in transgenic lemon plants producing an antimicrobial Trichoderma harzianum endochitinase during fungal infection. Transgenic Research, 17 (5): 873-879.
  49. GENTILE A., DENG Z., LA MALFA S., DISTEFANO G., DOMINA F., VITALE A., POLIZZI G., LORITO M., TRIBULATO E. (2007). Enhanced resistance to Phoma tracheiphila and Botrytis cinerea in transgenic lemon plants expressing a Trichoderma harzianum chitinase gene. Plant Breeding 126 (2): 146-151.

Academic Year 2021/2022

Academic Year 2020/2021

Academic Year 2019/2020

Academic Year 2018/2019

Academic Year 2017/2018

Academic Year 2016/2017

Academic Year 2015/2016

Detection and study of Calonectria diseases related to their increasing importance; study of practical aspects of biological and integrated control means; the development of innovative experimental protocols for application of soil solarization integrated with other means for disinfestation of soil and substrate against several pathogens, thus suggesting large-scale application; post-harvest diseases and innovative aspects of their biological control; diseases of tropical fruits related to their increasing trend.