Stefania Maria Bennici

Research Fellow - Responsabile scientifico: Alessandra Gentile
Office: Via Valdisavoia, 5 – 1° piano
Email: stefania.bennici@hotmail.it
Phone: 095 4783435


Updated on July 29, 2020

EDUCATION

  • November 2016 – February 2020. Attended the Ph.D. course in “Agricultural, Food and Environmental (Cycle XXXII)”, at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) – University of Catania. Obtained the title of Ph.D on February 27, 2020 defending the PhD thesis entitled: “Citrus reproductive biology: physiological and genetic aspects of sterility, seedlessness and fruiting”.
  • July 25, 2016. Achieved the master degree in Agricultural Biotechnology (LM-7) with a vote of 110/110 cum laude at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) – University of Catania, discussing the experimental thesis entitled “Fingerprinting of pear varieties and phylogenetic relationships with Etna wild species through SSR markers and analysis of S-alleles
  • July 24, 2014. Achieved the bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences (L-13) with a vote of 110/110 at the Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences - University of Catania, discussing the thesis entitled “Role of diet and susceptibility biomarkers on the development of cervical carcinoma”.

RECOGNITION

  • March 2016. Received the recognition as the most distinguished student in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) – University of Catania for the grades obtained in the exams and the regularity of the career for the academic year 2014/2015.

 

ACADEMIC POSITIONS

  • February 2020 – present. Is post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) as part of the European project “Pre-HLB: Preventing HLB epidemics for ensuring citrus survival in Europe” (Horizon 2020, Grant Agreement n. 817526). In this project, she deals with the genetic-molecular characterization of systems of resistance to biotic stress factors in citrus.

 

RESEARCH EXPERIENCES

International researcher experience

 

  • March 2020 – present. Spent a researcher period at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Plant Biology (IBMCP), Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)- Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Valencia, Spain, carrying out study and research activities under the research grant.
  • April 2018 – July 2019. Spent a researcher period at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Plant Biology (IBMCP), Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)- Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Valencia, Spain, carrying out analysis of sequencing data and use of RNA interference and genetic transformation approaches for the study of candidate genes linked to sterility in citrus.

 

Other scientific-professional activities

 

  • June 2018. Presented oral communications entitled: “Effect of different thermal regimes on the reproductive biology of clementines” at the XII edition of the "Giornate Scientifiche SOI" held in Bologna (Italy).

The main research activities focus on:

  • Molecular marker analysis (SSR-SCAR) for genetic characterization of several tree crops;
  • Histological analysis during flowers and fruits development for the evaluation of the effects of abiotic stress and comparison of seedless mutants in citrus;
  • Analysis of expression levels of genes involved in flowering in citrus;
  • Analysis of sequencing data, genetic transformation and in vitro regeneration techniques for the identification and the characterization of candidate genes involved in male/female sterility in citrus;
  • Genome editing technique for the characterization of candidate genes involved in resistance to biotic stress factors in citrus.
  • Aloisi, I., Distefano, G., Antognoni, F., Potente, G., Parrotta, L., Faleri, C., Gentile, A., Bennici, S., Mareri, L., Cai, G., Del Duca, S., 2020. Temperature-Dependent Compatible and Incompatible Pollen-Style Interactions in Citrus clementina Hort. ex Tan. Show Different Transglutaminase Features and Polyamine Pattern. Front. Plant Sci. 11, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.01018
  • Bennici, S., Di Guardo, M., Distefano, G., La Malfa, S., Puglisi, D., Arcidiacono, F., Ferlito, F., Deng, Z., Gentile, A., Nicolosi, E., 2019a. Influence of the genetic background on the performance of molecular markers linked to seedlessness in table grapes. Sci. Hortic.  252, 316–323. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2019.03.060
  • Bennici, S., Distefano, G., Gentile, A., Las Casas, G., Di Guardo, M., Lana, G., Pacini, E., La Malfa, S., 2019b. Temperature stress interferes with male reproductive system development in clementine (Citrus clementina Hort. ex Tan.). Ann. Appl. Biol. 175, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1111/aab.12508
  • Bennici, S., Las Casas, G., Distefano, G., Di Guardo, M., Continella, A., Ferlito, F., Gentile, A., La Malfa, S., 2018. Elucidating the contribution of wild related species on autochthonous pear germplasm: A case study from Mount Etna. PLoS One 13, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0198512