Classe di Scienze fisiche, matematiche e naturali
professoressa emerita, già ordinaria di Botanica nell'Università di Torino

Socio corrispondente dal 21/04/1999 per scienze della biologia vegetale
Socio nazionale residente dal 06/04/2016
Nato a Torino il 07/05/1947

Research Field: Biology of Plant-Microorganism Interactions


Key qualifications

Her group has a research tradition on the biology of symbiotic associations, mainly mycorrhizas, and fungal taxonomy which dates back to 1975. PB spent a long part of her scientific activity studying the intimate interactions that occur between fungi and plants as well as between bacteria and fungi, using cellular and molecular approaches.  Applying DNA technologies,  early  in the nineties, she provided contribution to the knowledge of mycorrhizal diversity in natural as well as in cultivated fields. She has discovered a group of endobacteria which live inside mycorrhizal fungi and may modulate some of the functional traits of their fungal hosts.

The  main scientific topics she has faced are: to understand the cellular and molecular basis of plant-fungal interactions in mycorrhizas; to investigate the genetic determinants which characterize some mycorrhizal fungi; to define the fungal biodiversity in soil; to evaluate the fungal impact in natural and agricultural ecosystems; to investigate the fungal interactions with other microorganisms. The expertise on cellular and molecular biology of plant/fungal interactions as well as on dynamics of fungal populations is witnessed by a large number of original, review and technical papers and multiple international collaborations.


Major current scientific projects

Bacterial and fungal microbiomes in rice, tomato and wheat;  Dissecting the role of  the fungal intracellular microbiota,  Rice and tomato responses to AM fungi; Genomics and Functional genomics in mycorrhizal fungi; Cellular and molecular interactions between plants and mycorrhizal fungi, with particular attention to signalling and colonization processes; Systemic effects of mycorrhizal fungi on plant traits.



Full Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Torino (1984-2017)

Head of the Department of Plant Biology (October 2006-December 2011)

Responsible of the Centro di Studio sulla Micologia del Terreno del CNR- Torino, currently named Sezione di Torino dell'Istituto di Protezione per le Piante (1995-2009), Coordinator of the PhD school in Biological and Biotechnological Sciences; (2006-2013), Coordinator the PhD Course in Biology and Biotechnology of Fungi (2000-2005)

Teaching positions

Till November 2017- Natural Sciences (Botany, Plant-Microbe interactions), Biology (Plant-Microbe interactions), Plant Biotechnology


Supervisors of more than 20 Ph.D students


Scientific responsibilities and Editorial activities

Member of the Scientific Committee of CNR (2012-2016);

Member of the Scientific Committee  for Research Activities-Provincia  di Trento (2014-2019).

Organizer of many symposia, workshops and meetings on mycorrhizas and symbiotic fungi;

Visiting scientist in Japan (1989) and Brazil (2012).

Invited speakers in many international congresses of Mycology, Microbiology, Botany, Biotechnology, Plant Pathology, Cell Biology, Fungal genetics, Genetics, Memorial Symposium for Biology of Symbiosis, ICOM, iMMM, Microbiota meetings

Invited to be External examiner (Opponent) for more than 20 PhD Dissertations in Europe

Member of the Scientific Committee of the Dijon Campus (France)

Member of the Scientific Committee of Plant for Future (Italy)

Organizing committee of many meetings, among which  MPMI Meeting in Sorrento (2007), 8th International Congress of Plant Pathology (Torino, 2008), Indian-Italian Workshop (November, 2010), IMMM (Cambridge 2015, Toulouse, 2017), ISME 2016

IMA Executive Committee (International Mycological Association) 2018--


Editorial activities

Editor of Environmental Microbiology (2013-);

Senior Editor IMA FUNGUS (2019-)

Associated Editor of Fungal Biology (Till 2015); Board member of New Phytologist, Board member of  IS-MPMI Interactions , The ISME Journal, Referee for papers concerning mycorrhizas for different journals (ie. Science, Nature, Plant Cell, Plant Journal, Plant Physiology, Planta, Fungal Biology & Genetics, PNAS) and for scientific European and American (NSF)  Agencies. Referee for ERC (Senior grants, 2011, Consolidated grants, 2016)



Fellow of Academy of Sciences of Torino (1999), Academy of Agriculture of Torino (2000)  Academia dei Lincei Rome (November 2011), Académie d'Agriculture de France (2018), Academia Europea (2019)

Award for Plant Biology 2010, Roma, June 2010

Award for the Award for the French Food Spirit- Science – Paris, December 16, 2010

2019: Appointed Commander (“Commendatore”) of the “Order of Merit of the Italian Republic” by the President of the Italian Republic (“motu proprio”).


She is in the list  of:

1. Top Italian Scientists- Ranking 4 for  the typology Natural sciences

2. Highly Quoted Researchers, (ISI)  Philadelphia.;

3. One hundred Italian Experts:

4. In the list of  Clarivate  Analytics: highly quoted researcher  2017-2018

5. Member of Group 2003


Scientific production

Papers in refereed journals: 283 (listed in the official site of the University Ministry

and in the web sites of the Torino University


Google scholar: H index 85 citations 23665


Ultimo aggiornamento ottobre 2019

Dalla Teca Digitale