Projects

Partner manipulation in plant-insect relationships

Objectives

  • How do plant-derived chemicals affect animal behaviour?
  • Have neuroactive compounds produced by plants evolved not (or not only) as a mere deterrent for animals, but also as a plant tool to attract and manipulate animal behaviour?
  • Plant-animal interaction from new ecological and neurobiological perspectives
  • Model: ant-plant relationships mediated by extra-floral nectar (EFN)
  • Combined approach involving plant chemistry and physiology, ethology and neurobiology, transcriptomic and microbial ecology

Partners

  • International Laboratory of  Plant Neurobiology, University of Firenze, Stefano Mancuso (Coordinator)
  • Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Production, Landscape, Agroenergy, Università degli Studi di Milano, Franco Faoro
  • Myrmecology Lab, Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, Università degli Studi di Parma, Donato Antonio Grasso
  • Department of Life Sciences, Università degli Studi di Siena, Massimo Nepi

Financing

  • 3 years project financed by National PRIN program of the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research 2019 - 2022

BRANDY: Brain Network Dynamics

BRANDY Project page

Methods

  • coordination of common teaching activities
  • support of students’ interest and engagement in brain network dynamics throughout all stages of their early academic carrier
  • formation of a collaborative environment for young academics

Objectives

  • Foundation of a Strategic Unit for the Interdisciplinary Research on Brain Network Dynamics
  • Creation of a cluster of experts in this fast-growing field of research
  • Development of an infrastructure, optimized for information exchange among the partners
  • Formation of a collaborative environment for young academics with different skills for common research initiatives
  • Generation of visibility of our actions for the international research community

Project coordinator

  • Albrecht Haase (DF & CIMeC)

Partners

Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC)

Department of Physics (DF)

Department of Information Engineering and Computer Sciences (DISI)

Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO)

Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK)

Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

Financing

STEFANIE: Sublethal effects of neonicotinoids on the honeybee brain: from single neuron imaging to colony studies.

STEFANIE Project page

Methods

  • functional imaging of different regions along the odour processing pathway
  • controlled perfusion of the brain with active substances during imaging
  • comparative behavioural studies using PER

Objectives

  • determine brain regions sensitive to neonicotinoid pesticides
  • quantify relevant doses for the onset of effects in the olfactory system
  • compare effects in the brain to behavioural symptoms in field studies

Project coordinator

  • Albrecht Haase (DF & CIMeC)

Partners

Financing

  • 3 year project financed by the Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano

Neural correlates of magneto-reception in insects

Methods

  • Conditioning experiments for associative learning of magnetic field stimuli
  • Functional imaging of the visual system under magnetic field modulation

Objectives

  • identify the mechanism, the brain region, and the neurons that provide magnetic sensitivity
  • compare the theoretical models of radical pairs against the magnetic nanoparticle model

Of bees and men: Development of an optogenetic animal model to study oscillatory neural networks.

Methods

  • high temporal resolution imaging of responses to odour stimuli
  • analysis of oscillatory activity in the honeybee brain
  • development of an optogenetic toolbox for real-time modulation of the olfactory processing network

Objectives

  • temporal coding in odour perception
  • connectivity in the olfactory network
  • changes in the network properties under optogenetic modulation of single nodes

Project coordinator

  • Albrecht Haase (DF & CIMeC)

Partners

Financing

  • as a Strategic Project by the Università degli Studi di Trento

Fundamental processes in odorant receptor interaction: beyond the shape theory of olfaction

Methods

  • studying odour coding of compounds that share chemical properties but differ in molecular vibration and vice versa
  • develope in vitro assays to study odour receptor interaction

Objectives

  • trace back insects' ability to distinguish chemically identical odour compounds
  • study possible influence of molecular vibrations
  • exclude alternative explanations for differential odour coding

Partners

Financing

  • supported by an EMBO Short-Term Fellowship ASTF 108-2015

IBRAIM: Insect brain imaging from fundamental neuroscience to pest control

Methods

  • two-photon in vivo imaging of insect brains in vivo to outperform conventional microscopy by spatial and temporal resolution, penetration depth and photodamage limitation

Objectives

  • Odour coding principles in the honeybee brain
  • Morphological and functional plasticity in the honeybee brain after associative or non-associative learning
  • In of odour perception due to neurotoxic pesticides as a possible cause for the western world honeybee population decline (Colony Collapse Disorder)

Project coordinator

  • Albrecht Haase (DF & CIMeC)

Financing

  •  as Research unit (IBRAIM) by the Provincia Autonoma di Trento

Sustainable strategies against infesting flies: from olfactory perception to a safeguard of small fruits in Trentino

Methods

  • behaviour experiments in Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila suzukii
  • optical imaging of transgenetic fruitflies

Objectives

  • differences between D. suzukii e D. melanogaster regarding reception, behaviour, and neuroanatomy.
  • development of sustainable strategies to explore these results to counteract the diffusion of D. suzukii.

Project coordinator

  • Albrecht Haase (DF & CIMeC)

Partners

Financing

  • by the Communal Government of the City of Rovereto

Multifunctional nanohybrid photosensitizers for Photodynamic therapy via X-ray and IR activation

Methods

  • synthesis and functionalization of photo-sensitive silicon Nanowires
  • in vitro experiments on IR activation, and quantification of phototoxic effects

Objectives

  • development of a photosensitizer that is flexibly activatable at very different wavelength
  • characterization of functionality in cell cultures

Project coordinator

Partners

  • Roberta Tatti (IMEM, CNR)
  • Albrecht Haase and Renzo Antolini (DF and CIMeC)
  • Thomas Paternoster and Nicola Berti (Sandoz Industries)

Financing

  •  by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto