Greta La Quatra

PhD Student
PhD in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science - XXXIX Cycle
Tutor: Giancarlo Polizzi
  • 01/09/2023 - ongoing: PhD course in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania, Section of Plant Pathology. Research project: Improving management strategies for the control of main fungal diseases of citrus in Sicily. Supervisor: prof. Giancarlo Polizzi 
  • 01/10/2021 - 28/07/2023: Master Degree in Agricultural Science and Technology (LM-69), University of Catania. Degree thesis: Elucidating the almond constriction canker caused by Diaporthe amygdali in Sicily”. Supervisor: prof. Giancarlo Polizzi Co-supervisors: prof. Carlos Agustí Brisach and Dr. Gusella Giorgio Final grade: 110/110 cum laude.
  • 01/09/2022 - 30/11/2022: Traineeship (Erasmus Plus) at Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica y de Montes (ETSIAM) - Universidad de Córdoba, Spain. Research activities for the preparation of the Master's thesis, which aimed to further investigate the etiology of fungal diseases of almonds. Supervisor: Carlos Agustí Brisach
  • 03/12/2021: Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Science and Technology (L-25), University of Catania. Bachelor thesis: Phyllosticta citricarpa, patogeno a rischio introduzione nell'Unione Europea? Supervisor: prof. Giancarlo Polizzi Final grade: 110/110 cum laude.
  • 2018: Classical High School Graduation: Istituto Statale d'Istruzione Secondaria "Giovanni Falcone", Barrafranca, Italy. Final grade: 91/100.


The PhD project aims to improve management strategies for controlling major fungal diseases affecting citrus production in Sicily. These diseases, caused by fungi from Alternaria and Colletotrichum genera, pose significant challenges to citrus growers. Current control methods involve fungicide sprays, but this approach has negative impacts on human and environmental health and faces issues of resistance development. To address these problems, the project focuses on researching alternative management strategies, including the use of biological control agents, and monitoring the development of fungicide resistance in Alternaria and Colletotrichum populations.

Gusella, G., La Quatra, G., Agustí-Brisach, C., Trapero, A., & Polizzi, G. (2023). Elucidating the almond constriction canker caused by Diaporthe amygdali in Sicily (South Italy). Journal of Plant Pathology, 1-14.