Guarino Francesco

I studied Environmental Science at the University of Salerno, Italy where I obtained the degree in 2020. During my master thesis my interests were focused on environmental chemistry and microbiology. During this period he is concerned to isolate and characterize a new bacteria strain able to reduce perchlorate. In 2011 I won a PhD fellowship, then since 2011 I was PhD student at the Department of Pharmacy of University of Salerno. My PhD project was focused on the biodiversity study of natural population of white poplar living in the Sardinia island, and, also, on the stability of their DNA methylation status. I held the PhD in “Systems Biology” in 2014. After the PhD hold I won an EU grant to conduct research activities at Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape financed by EU project Trees4Future (EU 7th Framework Programme - FP7) studying, through NGS approach, the genetic and epigenetic diversity of white poplar living in the Mediterranean basin.

From 2014 to 2015 I was research fellow at the University of Sassari and there I studied the biodiversity (genetic and epigenetic) of natural Arundo specimens living in Sardinia Island in order to select the most biodiverse ones. The selected clones were used in the phytoremediation experiments to reclaim heavy metals polluted soils caused by the mining activities. From 2017 to 2018 I was post-Doc at the Dept. of Public Health, Univ. of Naples “Federico II” and my research interests were focused on statistical GIS based analyses aiming to investigate the correlation between public health and environmental pollution. From March 2018 to February 2021 I was post post-doc fellowship at DCB-UNISA and my project is focused on omics study (e.g.,ionomics, transcriptomics , epigenomics) in quinoa plants in response to abiotic stresses (e.g., drought, salt, etc.) in the climate change view. In 2019 I co-founded an innovative start-up with the mission of the technology transfer in the field of phytoremediation (constructed wetlands), with particular reference to contaminated wastewater, and biomonitoring. In April 2021 I won a post-Doc fellowship for six months at the Department of Civil Engineering, where I carried out experiments to develop and optimize phytoremediation plants for the civil and industrial waste water. From February 2022 I am Researcher (Rtd-B) at the Department of Chemistry and Biology “A. Zambelli” of the University of Salerno. At the present, my main research activities are focused on: genetic and epigenetic biodiversity studies, environmental biomonitoring, phytoremediation of different environmental matrices also in the plant-microorganism interaction.

Main contribution to science

I work in the field of plant science and interaction between plants and bacteria. The research interest has been largely directed towards the molecular aspects, in particular epigenetic modifications in plants exposed to biotic and abiotic environmental stress conditions. The studies have been focused on the DNA methylation status of natural population, characterized by clonal propagations (e.g., giant reed, white poplar, etc.), collected in diverse pedo-climatic conditions, or in plant species used for phytoremediation purposes and, therefore, exposed to heavy abiotic stress. During these experiments I also investigated the role of bacterial communities of the rhizosphere by means of culture dependent and/or independent (NGS) approaches. These studies allowed to isolate, identify and biochemical characterize bacterial strains with plant growth promoting features. On the other hand, the independent approach allowed to reveal the modification of the bacterial rhizo-communities during phytoremediation experiments.

More recently, my research interests have been focused on the improvement of the civil and industrial wastewater treatment using a green technology as phytoremediation and constructed wetlands. These experiments allowed to assay different plant species combined to diverse bacterial strains tolerant the specific pollution conditions (by us isolated and characterized). Part of these investigations allowed to reduce of 10 fold the known ratio equivalent inhabitants (EI) surface (m2). These results are the object of a patent request (patent pending).

National and International teaching activities


In 2021 I was teacher in the international training school training school “Plant Epigenetics: Basics, Applications and Methodologies” - Cost Action EPIgenetic mechanisms of Crop Adaptation To Climate cHange (EPICATCH)

From 2016 to 2021 I held about 15 contracts as a teacher in plant science (help teaching programs) in the bachelor degree in Environmental Sciences and Biological Science, and Agriculture at the department of chemistry and biology and Pharmacy of the University of Salerno.

Conference organization and Main Contribution to Dissemination Sciences

I contributed to the local organization of the 113° conference of the Italian Botanic Society (V international plant science conference) held in Fisciano fto 12th to 15th September 2018.

Speaker at conferences

International COST EpiCATCH Conference “EPIgenetic mechanisms of Crop Adaptation To Climate cHange”. Online. Contribute: Epigenetic diversity of natural clonal Arundo donax L. populations. 12-07-2021 al 14-07- 2021. On line

15th International Conference on Ecology and Management of Alien Plant invasions 2019. Contribute: Epigenetic aspects involved in plant invasiveness. 09-09-2019 / 13-09-2019. Praga

6th International Symposium on Biosorption and Biodegradation/Bioremediation - BioBio 2017. Contribute: Reclamation of arsenic contaminated soils and waters by means of assisted phytoremediation. 25-06-2017 / 29-06-2017 Praga.

Invited speaker at international conference Designing Trees for the Future: Data are the keystone - Brussel. T4F Users’ success stories. Contribute: Genetic biodiversity and epigenetic stability of white poplar populations.04-04-2016 / 06-04-2016

110° Congresso della Società Botanica Italiana onlus - II International Plant Science Conference (IPSC). Contribute: Is sunflower good tool for reclamation of soils contaminated with chromium? 14-09-2015/ 17-09-2015 Pavia

Referee for International Journal and Editorial Board membership.

I’m reviewer for the several international journals such as Chemosphere, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Stoten, Genome biology and evolution, Plant Biosystem, etc..

From the 2021 I am editor of the Applied Sciences Journal Section Applied Biosciences Bioengineering.

In 2020 I was a Co-Guest Editor of the Special Issue, "Research Progress and Application Prospects of Microsatellites” in Genes, in 2021 Plant Growth Promoting Microorganisms Useful for Soil Desalinization in Applied Sciences, in 202i I was Guest Associate Editor in Microbe and virus interactions with plants and in Plant Symbiotic Interaction (both in Frontiers in Plants Science)