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Elena Martino

Elena Martino is assistant professor at the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology (;sort=U2;search=;hits=201) (former Department of Plant Biology) - University of Turin. She got the Bachelor Degree in Natural Sciences (mark 110/110 cum laude et menzione) at the University of Turin on July 15, 1996, discussing a Master Degree report titled: “Morphological and functional characterization of symbiotic mycelia coming from a heavy metal contaminated site”. She got the Optime award from the Industrial Union of Turin and the award for the Best report in Natural Science for the Academic Year 1996/97. From 1997 to 1998 she was engaged in a Postgraduate Training Experience at the Department of Plant Biology of the University of Turin, obtaining a CNR (National Council of Research) grant concerning the thematic “Functional and genomic biodiversity of mycorrhizal fungi”. She got the PhD at the University of Turin on March 7, 2001, with a dissertation titled: “Interactions between ericoid mycorrhizal fungi and heavy metals”. During her PhD she spent two research periods abroad (Prof. G.M. Gadd Lab - Department of Biological Sciences - University of Dundee, Scotland, from March 1 to November 30, 1999; Dr. C. Azcon-Aguilar Lab - Zaidin Experimental Centre, Granada, Spain, from 3 to 11 August, 2000). On 2000 she got the Qualification to teach Natural Sciences, Geography and Microbiology at the Secondary School. She got a 1st level Bioinformatics Master at the University of Turin on February 7, 2002. Since November 1, 2002 she has a permanent position as assistant professor at the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology of the University of Torino.

Since 2002 she has been involved in local University projects concerning the mechanisms regulating the interaction of soil fungi with different types of environmental contaminants and possible development of new bioremediation systems. She studied in particular the response of tolerant ericoid endomycorrhizal fungi coming from polluted sites to heavy metal stress. Through a proteomics approach, enzymes induced by heavy metals have been found, whose expression could partly explain the metal tolerance shown by these mycorrhizal fungi. From October 2003 to March 2004, she spent a research period in the Prof. P.D. Spanu Lab, Imperial College, London (UK), thanks to a fellowship from the National Academy of Lincei, working on fungal genetic transformation. She was able to stable genetically transform and visualize in planta an endomycorrhizal fungus for the first time. The possibility to genetically transform this fungus has been fundamental to unravel heavy metal tolerance mechanisms. From 2004 to 2006 she has been responsible for the subproject 3.3 (Endophytes and root associates as natural agents of bioremediation) of the Centre of Excellence for Plant and Microbial Biosensing (CEBIOVEM) of the Department of Plant Biology, University of Turin. From 2002 to 2008 she was involved in a Piedmont Region project: “Asbestos hazard in Western Alps”, collaborating with Prof. B. Fubini (Chemistry Department, University of Turin) and with the Interdepartmental Centre for the Study of Asbestos and Others Dangerous Particulates G. Scansetti (Turin, Italy). Aim of the project was the study of the interaction between soil fungi and asbestos mineral fibres and the possible role of fungal microorganisms as detoxification agents. Interesting results were obtained and published, showing the ability of fungi to solubilize iron (one of the main responsible for asbestos toxicity), from the fibres. These results were commented on Nature Science Update, suggesting the interesting and important perspectives of this project.

In the period 2008-2012 she has been involved in a scientific collaboration with the group of Prof. M. Chalot and Dr. D. Blaudez (University of Nancy, France) including the participation to two different projects: (i) the Phytopop project ( with the purpose to explore poplar potential in phytoremediation processes. She was involved in the task aiming at identify mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi associated to poplar roots and at analyze their impact on the phytoremediation process; (ii) a project intended to investigate metal transporters in the ericoid endomycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius and to screen for metal tolerance an O. maius random-mutants collection. This collaboration was partly supported by a fellowship from the University of Turin (WWS - World Wide Style – project). Since 2010 she is involved in the international project “Exploring the Genome Diversity of Mycorrhizal Fungi to Understand the Evolution and Functioning of Symbiosis in Woody Shrubs and Trees” in the framework of the Mycorrhizal Genomics Initiative, MGI ( coordinated by Dr. F. Martin (INRAE / Université de Lorraine, Centre INRAE Grand Est Nancy) in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute (JGI, California). Some results of this project have been published in Nature Genetics ( and commented in the media (

In the framework of this collaboration, she got two projects funded by the Laboratoire d’excellence (Labex) ARBRE (Nancy, France) (Projets Incitatifs), the first one in 2013 (project title “Looking for effector symbiosis-related proteins in the ericoid endomycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius”) ( and the second one in 2019 (project title: "Isolation, identification, structural and functional characterization of new polyketides produced by the mycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius") (

Since 2013 she develops part of her research activity at the Centre INRAE Grand Est Nancy (France) where she is hosted as invited researcher (

Journal articles15 documents

  • Salvatore Casarrubia, Elena Martino, Stefania Daghino, Annegret Kohler, Emmanuelle Morin, et al.. Modulation of Plant and Fungal Gene Expression Upon Cd Exposure and Symbiosis in Ericoid Mycorrhizal Vaccinium myrtillus. Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media, 2020, 11, ⟨10.3389/fmicb.2020.00341⟩. ⟨hal-02905623⟩
  • Suvi Sutela, Marco Forgia, Eeva J Vainio, Marco Chiapello, Stefania Daghino, et al.. The virome from a collection of endomycorrhizal fungi reveals new viral taxa with unprecedented genome organization. Virus Evolution, Oxford University Press, 2020, ⟨10.1093/ve/veaa076⟩. ⟨hal-03024031⟩
  • Stefania Daghino, Luigi Di Vietro, Luca Petiti, Elena Martino, Cristina Dallabona, et al.. Yeast expression of mammalian Onzin and fungal FCR1 suggests ancestral functions of PLAC8 proteins in mitochondrial metabolism and DNA repair. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 9 (6629), ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-43136-3⟩. ⟨hal-02948853⟩
  • Silvia Perotto, Stefania Daghino, Elena Martino. Ericoid mycorrhizal fungi and their genomes: another side to the mycorrhizal symbiosis?. New Phytologist, Wiley, 2018, 220 (4), pp.1141-1147. ⟨10.1111/nph.15218⟩. ⟨hal-02989297⟩
  • Elena Martino, Emmanuelle Morin, Gwen-Aëlle Grelet, Alan Kuo, Annegret Kohler, et al.. Comparative genomics and transcriptomics depict ericoid mycorrhizal fungi as versatile saprotrophs and plant mutualists. New Phytologist, Wiley, 2018, 217 (3), pp.1213-1229. ⟨10.1111/nph.14974⟩. ⟨hal-02080038⟩
  • Salvatore Casarrubia, Stefania Daghino, Annegret Kohler, Emmanuelle Morin, Hassine-Radhouane Khouja, et al.. The Hydrophobin-Like OmSSP1 May Be an Effector in the Ericoid Mycorrhizal Symbiosis. Frontiers in Plant Science, Frontiers, 2018, 9, pp.1-14. ⟨10.3389/fpls.2018.00546⟩. ⟨hal-01844910⟩
  • Stefania Daghino, Elena Martino, Silvia Perotto. Model systems to unravel the molecular mechanisms of heavy metal tolerance in the ericoid mycorrhizal symbiosis. Mycorrhiza, Springer Verlag, 2016, 26 (4), pp.263-274. ⟨10.1007/s00572-015-0675-y⟩. ⟨hal-02988459⟩
  • Laurence Lacercat-Didier, Charlotte Berthelot, Julie Foulon, Audrey Errard, Elena Martino, et al.. New mutualistic fungal endophytes isolated from poplar roots display high metal tolerance. Mycorrhiza, Springer Verlag, 2016, 26 (7), pp.657 - 671. ⟨10.1007/s00572-016-0699-y⟩. ⟨hal-01512275⟩
  • Salvatore Casarrubia, Sara Sapienza, Héma Fritz, Stefania Daghino, Maaria Rosenkranz, et al.. Ecologically Different Fungi Affect Arabidopsis Development: Contribution of Soluble and Volatile Compounds.. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2016, 11 (12), pp.e0168236. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0168236⟩. ⟨hal-01499062⟩
  • Annegret Kohler, Alan Kuo, Laszlo G. Nagy, Emmanuelle Morin, Kerrie W. Barry, et al.. Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists. Nature Genetics, Nature Publishing Group, 2015, 47 (4), pp.410-U176. ⟨10.1038/ng.3223⟩. ⟨hal-02639336⟩
  • M. Chiapello, E. Martino, S. Perotto. Common and metal-specific proteomic responses to cadmium and zinc in the metal tolerant ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius Zn. Metallomics, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015, 7 (5), pp.805-815. ⟨10.1039/c5mt00024f⟩. ⟨hal-01579583⟩
  • H R Khouja, S Daghino, S Abbà, F Boutaraa, M Chalot, et al.. OmGOGAT-disruption in the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius induces reorganization of the N pathway and reduces tolerance to heavy-metals.. Fungal Genetics and Biology, Elsevier, 2014, 71, pp.1-8. ⟨10.1016/j.fgb.2014.08.003⟩. ⟨hal-01114970⟩
  • Radhouane Khouja, Hassine, Simona Abba,, Laurence Lacercat-Didier,, Stefania Daghino,, Didier Doillon,, et al.. OmZnT1 and OmFET, two metal transporters from the metal-tolerant strain Zn of the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius, confer zinc tolerance in yeast. Fungal Genetics and Biology, Elsevier, 2013, 52, pp.53-64. ⟨10.1016/j.fgb.2012.11.004⟩. ⟨hal-00943938⟩
  • Marta Vallino, Elisa Zampieri, Claude Murat, Mariangela Girlanda, Sandro Picarella, et al.. Specific regions in the Sod1 locus of the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius from metal-enriched soils show a different sequence polymorphism. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, 75 (2), pp.321 - 331. ⟨10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.01003.x⟩. ⟨hal-02649139⟩
  • Paola Bonfante, R. Balestrini, Elena Martino, S. Perotto, Claude Plassard, et al.. Morphological analysis of early contacts between pine roots and two ectomycorrhizal Suillus strains. Mycorrhiza, Springer Verlag, 1998, 8, pp.1-10. ⟨hal-02691145⟩

Conference papers3 documents

  • Stefania Daghino, Suvi Sutela, Marco Forgia, Eeva J Vainio, Marco Chiapello, et al.. Molecular investigations of ericoid and orchid mycorrhizal fungi reveal new mycoviral taxa. 115th Conference of the Italian Botanical Society,, Sep 2020, On-line, September 9-11, Italy. ⟨hal-03047748⟩
  • Simone Belmondo, Stefania Daghino, Shingo Miyauchi, Gang Wu, Domitilla Meloni, et al.. Characterization of polyketide synthases in an ericoid endomycorrhizal fungus using a molecular approach. 1st Conference for Young Botanists (CYBO), Feb 2020, Genova, Italy. ⟨hal-03047783⟩
  • Stefania Daghino, Salvatore Casarrubia, Annegret Kohler, Emmanuelle Morin, Yohann Daguerre, et al.. The small secreted protein OmSSP1 is up-regulated in ericoid mycorrhiza and is involved in symbiosis. Effectome meeting XI, Nov 2018, Lauret, France. ⟨hal-03047789⟩

Poster communications2 documents

  • Simone Belmondo, Stefania Daghino, Shingo Miyauchi, Gang Wu, Domitilla Meloni, et al.. Polyketide synthases in the ericoid endomycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius. 15th European Conference on Fungal Genetics, Feb 2020, ROME, Italy. ⟨hal-02936036⟩
  • Elena Martino, Stefania Daghino, Simone Belmondo, Domitilla Meloni, Shingo Miyauchi, et al.. Polyketide synthases in the ericoid endomycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius. VI International Plant Science Conference, Sep 2019, Padova, Italy. ⟨hal-02936033⟩

Book sections2 documents

  • Gwen Grelet, Elena Martino, Ian Dickie, Rosnida Tajuddin, Rebekka Artz. Ecology of ericoid mycorrhizal fungi: what insight have we gained with molecular tools and what’s missing?. Molecular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis, 2016. ⟨hal-03024093⟩
  • Joske Ruytinx, Elena Martino,, Piotr Rozpądek, Stefania Daghino,, Katarzyna Turnau, et al.. Homeostasis of trace elements in mycorrhizal fungi. Molecular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis, 2016. ⟨hal-03024846⟩