Alessandra Gentile

Professor of Arboriculture and Fruitculture [AGR/03]
Office: Via Valdisavoia,5
Phone: 095 4783430

Main personal data
Name and surname: Alessandra Gentile
Place and date of birth: Catania (Italy) 31 October 1963
Nationality: Italian
Status: married

Present position: full professor of Horticulture at the University of Catania (Italy)
Vice -rector of University of Catania (2013 - 2016)
Deputy Commissioner of Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economica agraria (2015 -2016 )

Delegate for research at Catania University (2015, to date)

Complete institutional address
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania,
Via Valdisavoia, 5, I- 95123 Catania (Italy)
Phone: +39/095234430 (direct line); +39/095354641 (secretary)
Fax: +39/095234406

Education and career
-    1986: first degree in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Catania and in the same year started to work in the Istituto di Coltivazioni arboree of the same University as a volunteer assistant to investigate biological aspects of citriculture;
-    1992 Ph.D. in "Productivity of cultivated plants" with a thesis on "Biotechnological approaches on genetic improvement of lemon for tolerance to mal secco";
-    1994- 2001: Researcher at the Istituto di Coltivazioni arboree, University of Catania;
-    2001-2006: Associate Professor of Horticulture, University of Catania;
-    2006-date: full professor of Horticulture University of Catania;
- (2004-2006) Vice-dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Catania (Italy);
- Director of Department of Horticulture and Food Technology of Catania University (2009-2010);
- 2012-2015: "Shennong Scholar" Chair professor of Hunan Agricultural University Changsha , China.


Scientific activities and expertise
Scientific activity of Prof. Alessandra Gentile is mainly related to genetic improvement of fruit tree by traditional and innovative methods. Among the latest, she has considerable expertise in plant breeding through biotechnological approaches (in vitro selection, somatic hybridization, genetic transformation). Extensive research experience is connected with plant tissue culture as a mean for genetic improvement and for germplasm preservation.
She is also involved in researches for maintenance of fruit tree collection and for identification of germplasm by molecular markers (RAPD, SCAR, AFLP, SSR, ecc.). These studies were also carried out to study the phyletic relationship among the Citrus species and the related genera and to establish the genetic origin of the main cultivated citrus species.
Recently, she is deeply involved on researches for gene identification and isolation in plant by different biomolecular approaches.
Prof. Gentile collaborates with different national and international research center; among them, the Department of Plant Genetics of the Weizmann Institute of Science of Rehovot, Israel, to study the identification and characterization of proteins related to biotic stresses and to somatic embryogenesis in Citrus, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Instituto Valenciano de Investigationes Agrarias, Valencia, Spain, Hunan Agricultural Sciences, Changsha, PR China
1998-2007 component of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Society of Horticulture (SOI),
Italian Society of Agricultural Genetic (SIGA)
International Society of Citriculture (ISC)
International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS).

Organizational Activity and editorial activity
Convener of the Second International Citrus Biotechnology Congress, (ISHS and ISC), held in Catania (November 30, December 2, 2009).
Convener of the VII National Congress on Biodiversity,(Catania, 2005)
Organizing Commitee of the Italian Congress of Agricultural Genetic (Messina, 2002)
Organizing Committee of the National Biotechnology Congress (Catania, 2001)
2005-07: Coordinator of PRIN Control of incompatibility flower system in fruit trees, pollen and stylar determinants and protein role in fecondative process for fruit yield and quality “
1995- 2005 Component of UO PRIN "Modification of vegetative habitus of fruit trees by genetic transformation".
2001-2002 responsible of UO of FIRB project of the Italian University and Research Minister “Quantitative and qualitative improvement of production in horticulture by genetic transformation 1994-1998 Scientific responsible of a unit research of a project of the National research Council (CNR) "Conservation and characterization of fruit germplasm by molecular markers" .
2006-date: scientific responsabile of Consortium “Center for the evaluation and conservation of biodiversity of Sicily” (CEVASABI) of the University of Catania.
Referee for the evaluation of grant of high scientific interest of the Italian Research and Education Ministry, of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Directorate of Science and Technology, United Kingdom;
Reviewer for international journal (European Journal of Phytopathology, Scientia Horticulturae, Journal of American Society for Horticultural science, Plant Breeding, Plant Science,Journal of Food Quality, ecc): component of editorial board of Italus Hortus

Area of scientific activity:
molecular breeding, germplasm conservation, in vitro culture, biodiversity, fruitculture

Number of papers according to Scopus: 49; 25 in the last five years (2011-2015)
Number of papers according to Google Scholar: 93; 27 in the last five years (2011-2015)
H-index according to Scopus: 13 (with 725 citations); last five years: 6 (with 104 citations)
H-index according to Google Scholar: 16 (with 1143 citations); last five years: 8 (with 148 citations)