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Roberto bollini


Direttore di Istituto

Email: bollini * ibba.cnr.it | Phone: +39 02 23699430 | Fax: +39 02 23699411


Ongoing projects

Major subjects of our studies are the most abundant proteins contained in legume seeds.
Seeds accumulate during development huge amounts of proteins. In bean, the system presently under study, about 80% of seed protein content is accounted for by two classes of storage proteins, namely phaseolin and the members of the lectin-related protein family. Both protein classes greatly influence nutritional quality of the seed. Furthermore, lectin-related proteins apparently protect the seed from predators.
We are investigating on pattern variation of major storage proteins in both cultivated and wild genotypes of species belonging to the Phaseolus genus (1). These studies are aimed at isolating genes coding for potential candidates exploitable for crop protection, as well as at understanding the molecular evolution of the lectin gene family.
Furthermore, finding of beans with altered protein composition allows us to create new cultivars with more favourable protein composition (2).
Recently, an investigation on the metabolic effects on humans of phaseolin has been started. Beside their importance in human and animal nutrition, phaseolin and lectin-related proteins are good models to study protein synthesis in plant cells. These are all vacuolar proteins, i.e. are synthesised on the endoplasmic reticulum as precursors which are then transported into the storage protein vacuoles where they accumulate in a mature form. In this
respect, our investigations are aimed at understanding the physiological roles of the many modifications these proteins undergo during synthesis and intracellular transport (3).

(1) Dr. Lucia Lioi
(2) Dr. Bruno Campion at IRSA
(3) Dr. Francesca Sparvoli

Selected publications
  • Sparvoli, F., Gallo, A., Marinelli, D., Santucci, A., Bollini, R. (1998) Novel lectin-related proteins are major components in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) seeds. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1382. 311-323.
  • Ceriotti, A., Duranti, M., Bollini, R. (1998) Effects of N-glycosylation on the folding and final structure of plant proteins. Journal of Experimental Botany 49: 1091-1103.
  • Sparvoli, F., Bollini, R. (1998) Arcelin in wild bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seeds: sequence of arcelin 6 shows it is a member of the arcelins 1 and 2 subfamily. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 45: 383-388.
  • Lioi, L., Sparvoli, F., Bollini, R. (1999) Variation and genomic polymorphism of lectin-related proteins in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) seeds. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 46,: 175-182.
  • Bollini R., Carnovale E., Campion B. (1999). Removal of antinutritional factors from bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) seeds. Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment 3 (4): 217-219.
  • Sparvoli, F, Faoro F., Daminati M G, Ceriotti A. and Bollini R. (2000). Misfolding and aggregation of vacuolar glycoproteins in plant cells. The Plant Journal 24: 825-836.
  • Sparvoli F., Lanave C., Santucci A., Bollini R., and Lioi, L. (2001). Lectin and lectin-related proteins in Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) seeds: biochemical and evolutionary studies. Plant Molecular Biology 45:587-597.





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