Paola Bonfante - Curriculum Vitae#

After a research period at the Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris (1980), PB took a position of full Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Torino, Italy covering teaching, research and administration responsibilities (1985-2017). She has directed Laboratories of Plant-microbe Interaction; Mycorrhizal Research, and Advanced Microscopy at the University of Torino, heading projects and supervising undergraduates, Ph.D. students, and postdocs. As Professor Emerita, PB is involved in National and International Committees.

PB has 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. She has described how plant cells accommodate mycorrhizal fungi following their penetration process, identifying novel structures (from the interfacial compartment to the so-called prepenetration apparatus). Applying DNA technologies, early in the nineties, she provided contribution to the knowledge of mycorrhizal diversity in natural and 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. This contribution is a relevant part of a novel research field (Fungal-bacterial interactions). She joined many international projects focused to the genome sequencing of mycorrhizal fungi (from truffles to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi). She is investigating the mycorrhizal fungi as a crucial component of crop microbiota, where they act as biofertilisers and bioprotectors.

PB has been editor of Fungal Biology, and Environmental Microbiology, member of the Editorial Board of many journals. She acts as a referee for many journals and for scientific agencies

She has signed more than 300 papers (HI 102 and more than 34000 quotations)

She has received some international awards, among which The Adam Kondorosi -Academia Europaea Award for Advanced research in 2021, and in 2019, she has been Appointed Commander (“Commendatore”) of the “Order of Merit of the Italian Republic” by the President of the Italian Republic (“motu proprio”). In 2023, she has been the Recipient of the Templeton lecture at the Corvallis University.

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