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Erika Soldi


I have a B.Sc in Biotechnology and M.Sc in Agri-food Biotechnology from the University of Verona, Italy. Previously, I worked on the study of secondary metabolites produced by marine bacteria at the Centre for Marine Innovation (CMB) in Sydney, Australia. I developed a deep interest for the interaction between microorganism and eukaryotic organisms from this experience,  which lead me to my current role as a Research Assistant.

Research Project. E-Seed: A sustainable cereal seed endophyte treatment to reduce agricultural chemical costs

The project aims to develop a sustainable seed treatment to reduce agricultural chemical costs. Naturally plants interact with microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) to better cope with biotic and abiotic stress. Unfortunately, due probably to plant breeding programs and use of fungicides, cultivated plants don’t interact any more with their natural microflora. Our project is to reintroduce these microorganisms, called endophytes, in association with cultured crops. Endophytes are collected from crop wild relative such as grass plants and they are inoculated with the respective crop after a process of isolation and selection. So far, great results have already been obtained on barley and other crops are considered for future experiments, ranging from cereal to soft fruits crops. The results show, in plant inoculated with endophytes, an increment of important agronomic traits also with reducing chemical inputs and an improved resistance against pathogens and abiotic stress such as salinity or drought.''

Project Supervisors

  • Dr Brian Murphy
  • Prof Trevor Hodkinson


Murphy, B. R. et al. (2018) ‘Endophytes from the crop wild relative Hordeum secalinum L. improve agronomic traits in unstressed and salt-stressed barley’, Cogent Food & Agriculture. Cogent, 4(1), pp. 1–10. doi: 10.1080/23311932.2018.1549195.

Murphy, B. R. et al. (2019) ‘Synergy between fungal endophytes improves fruit production in strawberry cultivar’, emergent Life Science Research, 5(1), pp. 29–41.

Nappi, J., Soldi, E. and Egan, S. (2019) ‘Diversity and Distribution of Bacteria Producing Known Secondary Metabolites’, Microbial Ecology. Microbial Ecology, pp. 12–14. doi: 10.1007/s00248-019-01380-0.