PlantStressLab - Francesca Cardinale

Professor in Plant Physiology

Her research has generally been within a group of thematic areas (molecular plant physiology and pathology, biotic and abiotic stress perception and signal transduction, phytohormones), with individual projects that can be considered under more than one area. Her current studies focus on the phytohormones strigolactones both in Arabidopsis thaliana and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) with emphasis on cell type/organ specificity in biosynthesis, perception and effects; role in long-range stress signalling and in stomata closure under drought; interactions with abscisic acid and micro RNAs; effects in developmental phase transition. She is co-charter member of StrigoLab S.r.l. (

Recent publications

M. Trasoletti, I. Visentin, E. Campo, A. Schubert, F. Cardinale (2022) Strigolactones as a hormonal hub for the acclimation and priming to environmental stress in plants. Plant, Cell & Environment 45(12):3611-3630

P. Korwin Krukowski, I. Visentin, G. Russo, D. Minerdi, A. Bendahmane, A. Schubert, F. Cardinale (2022) Transcriptome analysis points to BES1 as a transducer of strigolactone effects on drought memory in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant & Cell Physiology pcac058

V. Santoro, M. Schiavon, I. Visentin, M. Martin, D. Said-Pullicino, F. Cardinale, L. Celi (2022) Tomato plant responses induced by sparingly available inorganic and organic phosphorus forms are modulated by strigolactones. Plant and Soil 474:355–372

V. Fiorilli, M. Forgia, A. de Saint Germain, G. D'Arrigo, D. Cornu, P. Le Bris, S. Al-Babili, F. Cardinale, C. Prandi, F. Spyrakis, F.-D. Boyer, M. Turina, L. Lanfranco (2022) A structural homologue of the plant receptor D14 mediates responses to strigolactones in the fungal phytopathogen Cryphonectria parasitica. New Phytologist 234(3):1003-1017 

D. Zhang, X. Shen, H. Zhang, X. Huang, H. He, J. Ye, F. Cardinale, J. Liu, J. Liu, G. Li (2021) Integrated transcriptomic and metabolic analyses reveal that ethylene enhances peach susceptibility to Lasiodiplodia theobromae-induced gummosis. Horticulture Research 9:uhab019

V. Santoro, M. Schiavon, I. Visentin, C. Constán-Aguilar, F. Cardinale, L. Celi (2021) Strigolactones affect phosphorus acquisition strategies in tomato plants. Plant, Cell & Environment 44(11):3628-3642

M. Sedaghat, Y. Emam, A. Mokhtassi-Bidgoli, S. Hazrati, C. Lovisolo, I. Visentin, F. Cardinale, Z. Tahmasebi-Sarvestani (2021) The potential of the synthetic strigolactone analogue GR24 for the maintenance of photosynthesis and yield in winter wheat under drought: investigations on the mechanisms of action and delivery modes. Plants 10(6):1223

F. Cardinale, C. Prandi (2021) Strigolactones: Methods and Protocols. Book series: Methods in Molecular Biology, Springer Science editions, NY, USA

E. Sánchez, P. Cubas, F. Cardinale, I. Visentin (2021) Evaluation of the Bioactivity of Strigolactone-Related Molecules by a Quantitative Luminometer Bioassay. In: Strigolactones: Methods and Protocols (F. Cardinale, C. Prandi eds). Book series: Methods in Molecular Biology, Springer Science editions, NY, USA

P. Korwin Krukowski, J. Ellenberger, S. Röhlen-Schmittgen, A. Schubert, F. Cardinale (2020) Phenotyping in Arabidopsis and crops—are we addressing the same traits? A case study in tomato. Genes 11(9):1011

V. Santoro, M. Schiavon, F. Gresta, A. Ertani, F. Cardinale, C. J. Sturrock, L. Celi, A. Schubert (2020) Strigolactones control root system architecture and tip anatomy in Solanum lycopersicum L. plants under P starvation. Plants 9(5):612

I. Visentin, C. Pagliarani, E. Deva, A. Caracci, V. Turečková, A. Novák, C. Lovisolo, A. Schubert, F. Cardinale (2020) A novel strigolactone-miR156 module controls stomatal behaviour during drought recovery. Plant, Cell & Environment 43(7):1613-1624

C. Rameau, S. Goormachtig, F. Cardinale, T. Bennett, P. Cubas (2019) Strigolactones as Plant Hormones. In: Strigolactones - Biology and Applications (H. Koltai, C. Prandi eds).  Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019, pp. 47-88. ISBN 978-3-030-12152-5 ISBN 978-3-030-12153-2 (eBook)

E. Sanchez, E. Artuso, C. Lombardi, I. Visentin, B. Lace, W. Saeed, M.L. Lolli, P. Kobauri, Z. Ali, F. Spyrakis, P. Cubas, F. Cardinale, C. Prandi (2018) New insights into Structure-Activity Relationship of strigolactones via a novel, quantitative in planta bioassay. Journal of Experimental Botany 69(9):2333-2343

M. Ferrero, C. Pagliarani, O. Novák, A. Ferrandino, F. Cardinale, I. Visentin, A. Schubert (2018) Exogenous strigolactone interacts with abscisic acid-mediated accumulation of anthocyanins in grapevine berries. Journal of Experimental Botany 69(9):2391-2401

G.H. Carlsson, D. Hasse, F. Cardinale, C. Prandi, I. Andersson (2018) The elusive ligand complexes of the DWARF14 strigolactone receptor. Journal of Experimental Botany 69(9):2345-2354

F. Cardinale, P. Korwin Krukowski, A. Schubert, I. Visentin (2018) Strigolactones: mediators of osmotic stress responses with a potential for agrochemical manipulation of crop resilience. Journal of Experimental Botany 69(9):2291-2303

V. Scala, I. Visentin, F. Cardinale (2017) Evaluating fumonisin gene expression in Fusarium verticilliioides. In: Mycotoxigenic Fungi. Methods and Protocols. A. Moretti, A. Susca eds. Book series: Methods in Molecular Biology, Humana Press, NY, USA. pp 249-257

I. Visentin, M. Vitali, M. Ferrero, Y. Zhang, C. Ruyter-Spira, O. Novák, M. Strnad, C. Lovisolo, A. Schubert, F. Cardinale (2016) Low levels of strigolactones in roots as a component of the systemic signal of drought stress in tomato. New Phytologist 212(4):954–963

D. Giordano, S. Provenzano, A. Ferrandino, M. Vitali, C. Pagliarani, F. Roman, F. Cardinale, S.D. Castellarin, A. Schubert (2016) Characterization of a multifunctional caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase activated in grape berries upon drought stress. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 101:23–32

J. Liu, H. He, M. Vitali, I. Visentin, T. Charnikhova, I. Haider, A. Schubert, C. Ruyter-Spira, H. Bouwmeester, C. Lovisolo, F. Cardinale (2015) Osmotic stress represses strigolactone biosynthesis in Lotus japonicus roots: exploring the interaction between strigolactones and ABA under abiotic stress. Planta 241(6):1435-1451