LINV – International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology




Lab  LINV - International Laboratory of Plants Neurobiology ( address Viale delle Idee 30 Sesto Fiorentino, ground floor, section of Arboreal crops

division Colture arboree - CA



Chief Researcher: Stefano Mancuso

Researchers: Elisa Masi, Elisa Azzarello , Camilla Pandolfi

Security supervisor: Stefano Mancuso

Responsabile gestione smaltimento dei rifiuti: Massimo Gori


Temporary Research Fellow:  Elisa Azzarello, Nadia Bazihizina, Cosimo Taiti, Werther Guidi Nissim, Diego Comparini, Stefania Caparrotta, Emily Rose Palm, Giulia Atzori, Federico Vita


Research topics

Research topics
Plant physiology: The environment affects plants in many ways, among which with abiotic factors i.e. temperature, humidity, light intensity, supply of water etc. Deviations from the physiological normal condition result in a stress situation that might reduce or change plant’s growth and development.

Seawater in agriculture: Edible species irrigated with growing amounts of seawater: study of species growth, productivity, physiology, enhancement of secondary metabolites as a consequence of salt stress.

Jellyfish Barge: Study of a floating greenhouse module for cultivation of vegetables, able to generate freshwater through solar distillation.

Phytoremediation: Investigation on the ability of some plants to remove and/or render harmless environmental pollutants, such as heavy metals or organic contaminants that can be present in soil. 

Plants as biofilters and biosensors: Influence of certain plants species on indoor air quality and development of sensors using plants environment sensing capabilities. 

Bioacustic: Study of sound waves or vibrations perception by plants for orientation or communication. Consequences on plants growth and metabolism.

Plants communication: Plants show complex communication skills. Communication and signalling in plants encompasses both chemical and physical communication pathways. Study of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may indicate specific defensive responses in neighbor plants.

Biomimetics: Inspiration from the plants world to evolutionary solutions linked to energy issues, climate adaptation, movement and many others.

Virtual water: Quantification of the amounts of virtual water (water footprint) hidden in agricultural productive systems and in alimentary goods; study of systems to reduce agricultural products water footprint.

Space biology: Effects of gravity-changing conditions (microgravity and hyper-gravity) on plant growth and metabolism, as micro and hyper-gravity can be considered as a primary source of stress for plants. 


Main Instrumentation

Growth chambers; greenhouse; spectrophotometers; centrifuges; Real Time PCR; fluorescence microscopy; confocal laser scanning microscope; portable open gas exchange system with the integrated fluorescence chamber head (Li-6400-40; Li-Cor Inc.) that enables the simultaneous measurements of leaf gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters; centrifuge for hyper-gravity experiments allowing the acquisition of measurement points in the range from 1 to 5 g; time-lapse facilities; 3D scanner; 3D printer; PTR-TOF MS, an instrument that can identify the full spectrum of volatile compounds emitted in a complex system; MEA Multielectrode Array System set-up to monitor electrical activity in plants; impedance spectroscopy, a repeatable and non-destructive method to study the behavior and the properties of cell membranes; Vibrating Probe Technique, a non-invasive method for measurements of net ion fluxes (or gas molecules) from plant cells and living tissues; Keyence, 2D laser micrometer to study roots morphology.


Set-up to study plants as biofilters using PTR-TOF MS

Confocal laser scanning microscope

Vibrating Probe Technique

Li-6400-40; Li-Cor Inc.

MEA set-up

Keyence – 2D laser micrometre

Monitoring plants electrical activity

Centrifuge for hyper-gravity experiments

Jellyfish Barge


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