Prof. Carla Caruso and Dr. Laura Bertini (pic aside) of the Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences of the University of Tuscia in Viterbo (Italy) will be back home next march 15th after a month-long mission in Antarctica.
The expedition takes place as part of a PNRA (National Antarctic Research Program) project funded by the Ministry of University and Research (MIUR).
The current project aims to study the role of microorganisms in adapting plants to climate change, with a particular focus on plant-fungus-virus interaction. Furthermore, since microorganisms from extreme ecosystems have evolved unique biochemical and physiological strategies, they can
represent a rich source of new bio-molecules, with potential applications in the pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial fields.
The project also involves the Italian Universities of Padova and Trento, and that of Temuco, Chile. Researchers from the University of Tuscia have now taken over the Polish Base Henrik Arctowski WAP POL-Ø1 (pic on the right), at King George Island (South Shetland), and avail themselves of the collaboration of the Chilean National Antarctic Institute (INACH) for transfers and logistical support.