Diego Dylan Bianchi is an agronomist and a biotechnologist who joined the Botany Department as a PhD student in January 2021 with a 4-years scholarship funded by DAFM. He graduated in Italy with two dissertations related to the field of bioeconomy, microbiology and sustainable agriculture. More specifically, Diego analysed the performance of arbuscular mycorrhizae as biostimulants in field crops (University of Turin, 2018) and evaluated the potential of seaweeds and cyanobacteria as biostimulants and biopesticides (Universities of Almería and Milan, 2020).
“I am fascinated by the possibility to reduce chemical inputs in agriculture, i.e. fertilisers and pesticides, without affecting yield and quality traits. My generation has an immense responsibility to assure food safety and develop environmentally friendly technologies”
PhD Project: BioCrop: Biostimulants and Biopesticides for Crop production
BioCrop is DAFM-funded (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) project and is engaged with partners at UCD, NUI Galway, Teagasc, Brandon Bioscience, e-Seed, NIAB and University of Seville. Diego is involved in Task 1 and Task 3 of the project. Briefly, a comprehensive collection of well-characterised new endophytes will be isolated and characterized from wild relatives of cereals in contrasting environments for spring and winter barley production and protection. These endophytes will be selected to develop new biostimulants and biopesticides based on their identity, growth characteristics, and IP potentials. Experimental tests will be previously performed in the lab and subsequently at the glasshouse and farm scale. More in detail, growth development and yield of barley cultivars inoculated with endophytes will be assessed under nitrogen/phosphorus nutrient stress and crop diseases such as net blotch, take-all, Ramularia leaf spot and BYDV.
Trevor Hodkinson (TCD)
Brian Murphy (TCD)
Fiona Doohan (UCD)