Giulia Modica

PhD Student - XXXIV Cycle Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science - Tutor: Alberto Continella
Office: Via Valdisavoia 5 - Piano primo
Phone: 095 4783451

  • 2018-2021: PhD course in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science, University of Catania. Research project: “A multidisciplinary approach for rootstocks evaluation”.

Research activity: The choice of the appropriate rootstock according to the environmental condition is a crucial step in the set-up of a novel plantation. In Sicily, some environmental conditions can be considered a limiting factor for citrus cultivation as the most widely adopted rootstocks, i.e. Carrizo and Troyer citranges, are very sensitive to specific pedological characteristics, including calcareous and high saline soils. The aim of the research is the evaluation of some recent and emerging rootstocks in comparison with others dominant and widely spread, in order to investigate their tolerance to water and saline stresses. The study will be carried out combining different approaches (morphological, physiological, trancriptomics and metabolomics) to investigate the behaviour of the rootstock under abiotic stress. In addition, mycorrhiza influence on physiological and vegetative performances will be studied. These results will provide useful insight for determining the most suitable citrus rootstocks for the Sicilian environment, which are actually adapting some conventional rootstocks that somewhat suffer water and saline stresses. Furthermore, the integration of transcriptomics and metabolomics analyses will allow the identification of molecular markers that can be used for marker assisted selection.

  • From 18-03-2019 to 18-04-2019 Research period at the “Fondazione Edmund Mach” in S. Michele all'Adige (TN).

Research activity: Metabolomic and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) characterization on plant matrices.

  • From 21-06-2018 to 21-09-2018: Research grant entitled "Rootstock influence on the main productive characteristics in citrus cultivation" at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) of the University of Catania. Research activities: The activity regarded the monitoring of the main morphological and physico-chemical parameters. The research concerns the qualitative evaluation and the antioxidant determination of blood oranges. The analyses were performed on a representative sample of fruits for each graft combination. Furthermore, the analysis of the antioxidant activity of the juices were carried out using the most qualified methods (ORAC, ABTS and DPPH), in order to evaluate their health characteristics.
  • From 08-01-2018 to 16-04-2018: Traineeship entitled "Influence of agronomical features on citrus qualitative traits" at the Universidad Miguel Hernandez in Elche (Spain). Scholarship announced by the University of Catania (Bando n. 1663 del 12/05/2017) and funded by MIUR (Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca)

Research activity: Qualitative evaluation of cultivars of blood oranges in different Spanish and Italian soil and climate contexts. Analysis of the main qualitative parameters during maturation. Acquired skills: laboratory techniques for chemical analysis (HPLC, mineral determination, spectrophotometry, sensory analysis, titration), for morphological, physical and colorimetric analyses. Acquisition of agronomic techniques and evaluation of interventions that modulate the qualitative and quantitative characteristics in citrus fruits.

  • From 25-09-2017 to 20-12-2017: Stage at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) for the analysis of the main qualitative characteristics of citrus fruits in relation to the rootstock.

Carrying out of analytical determinations and data processing in a research on the influence of rootstock on the main qualitative characteristics of citrus fruits at the Di3A, University of Catania.

  • From 28-02-2017 to 5-05-2017: Selected for the traineeship at Green Week 2017 - Green Economy Festival.

Stage at the factories of sustainability: Port of Venice and Passenger Terminal; Eurotech; Brevetti Waf; Perlage Winery; Azienda vinicola Cielo e Terra; Amorim Cork Italia; C.D.A. ; Cantina Pizzolato; Jast Italia; Consorzio Melinda.

  • 2015-2017: Master’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies, University of Catania. Supervisor: Prof. Alberto Continella.

Degree thesis: “Influence of rootstock on early fruiting and anthocyanic content in sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck]”. Final mark: 110/110 e lode.

  • 2012-2015: Bechelor’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies, Univeristy of Catania. Supervisor: Prof. Alberto Continella. 
    Degree thesis: “Biotic and abiotic factors that determine the choice of rootstock in citrus cultivation”. Final mark: 110/110 e lode.
  • 2011: High School Diploma in Classical Studies, Institute Matteo Raeli, Corso Vittorio Emanuele 113, Noto (SR)


Last updated: 27/7/2020

  • Continella A., Pannitteri C., Modica G., La Malfa S., Legua P., Distefano G., Nicolosi E., Gentile A., (2018). “Vegetative-productive evaluation of new rootstocks and influence on fruit pigmentation of blood orange” Acta Italus Hortus, Vol.23. pp-58.
  • Continella A., Pannitteri C., Modica G., Gentile A., La Malfa S., Hernández F., Legua Murcia P., (to be published). "Evolution of fruit maturity of some pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) cultivars in two Mediterranean areas" Acta Horticulturae, pp-43.