The research activities at the Naples Division are aimed to increase the knowledge on the stresses generated by climate change, land use, pollution, and urbanization on biodiversity (microbial, plant and animal). The impact of anthropic pollution on human health is analyzed studying the epigenetic mechanisms and remote communication systems (exosomes), potentially involved in the body response to pollutants exposure.
Moreover, the structure, fertility and resilience of the soil as well as the biotechnological applications of new extremophiles (i.e. biofuels production, the degradation of toxic chemical compounds and vegetable biomass, biopolymers and pigments) are studied. Furthermore, we study the structure, functioning and productivity of terrestrial ecosystems and the biotic and abiotic components in relation to global changes and anthropic pressure. A strong focus is also devoted to the use of environmentally friendly key enabling technologies (KETs) for the isolation and controlled release of bioactive compounds recovered from agro-industrial wastes.
The laboratory for the production of bioactive molecules
It carries out activities related to the valorization of unexploited natural resources, such as liquid and solid agro-industrial residues, through the realization of environmentally friendly processes for the production of bioactive molecules. It also deals with the production of biopolymers (exopolysaccharides, PHA), pigments and enzymes from extremophilic microorganisms of interest in several fields (environmental, food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic).
It is equipped with a high temperature incubator suitable for growing extremophilic microorganisms, lyophilizer, protein electrophoresis systems, chamber for development of chromatography, muffle.