From December 2019 Associate Professor of Agricultural Genetics and Plant Breeding at C3A, University of Trento, Italy
2011-2019: Senior Scientist at Fondazione Edmund Mach, Trento, Italy.
2007-2011: Post-Doctorate at Fondazione Edmund Mach, Trento, Italy.
2003-2007: Post-Doctorate at University of Bologna, Italy.
2000-2003: PhD in Fruit Crop Science at the University of Bologna, Italy.
The main interest of the Costa lab is the genetic analysis of fruit ripening and postharvest performance in climacteric type of fruit, especially apple and pear. Particular emphasis is also addressed to deciphering the role of fruit ripening mechanisms and metabolic pathways in controlling the fruit quality properties.
The research activity of the Costa lab is focused on the deciphering of the fruit ripening processes leading to fruit quality, especially the role of ethylene and the metabolism of the cell wall. Major fruit quality properties, including fruit texture, VOC production and secondary metabolites, are characterized by the use of modern phenomic approaches. The genetic architecture of these fruit quality components is assessed through the identification of the most important genomic loci involved in the control of these agronomical traits. This goal is achieved through the employment of different QTL mapping approaches, such as bi-parental QTL mapping, GWAS and MpCD. For the understanding of the physiological mechanisms playing pivotal role in the control of fruit quality and important postharvest disorders, RNA-Seq technology is also employed. To this end, a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach is employed through the integration of genetic and transcriptomic information into a System Genetics approach, to unravel the most valuable set of genes involved in the control of this phenomenon. The exploitation of the genetic variome will enable the targeting and design of new molecular markers useful to support the breeding activities oriented to the development of novel varieties distinguished by a superior fruit quality.