Research and Development
Italpollina's international R&D Center uses the most cutting-edge technologies to study and translate the language of plants, to understand their life, biology, needs and issues, in order to find efficient and effective solutions for agriculture.
Every day, we are at the farmer's side to support them in taking care of their crops in a natural and innovative way.
Italpollina's research philosophy is based on the ECO-EFFICIENCY model to guarantee optimal agricultural production with decreased environmental impact and a commitment to sustainability. During the design and creation process of new products, focus is on the use of renewable resources and the economization of some of our most valuable ones, like water and soil.
In order to provide products that fully comply with the highest quality standards and the principles of eco-efficiency, Italpollina has developed an advanced system to produce biostimulants, symbiotic and mutualist microbes, and organic fertilizers with high added value. All of this is made possible by Italpollina’s meticulous in-house research activities and scientific collaboration with important Institutions and international universities. Systems are based on phenomics, metabolomics, metagenomics and transcriptomics.
The development of new products starts with a screening of formulations through an automated phenotyping platform, which identifies the effects of varying formulas on the morphophysiological characteristics of plant tissues in a controlled environment (growth chamber or greenhouse). We focus on the formulations that are able to positively modify phenotypic traits, overcoming the limits of gene expression-based screening, because simply studying the expression of genes is not sufficient to determine a modification of the phenotype.
The formulas selected through the phenotyping platform are tested on plants using metabolomics and transcriptomics analysis with the goal of understanding their mechanisms of action. Metabolites are characterized as differentially expressed in the plant tissue after treatment, allowing us to identify the metabolic pathways responsible for the biological effect found at the phenotypic level. The study of the transcriptome gene expression allows us to confirm the formula's effects on the metabolic pathways and to underline its speed and the persistence of action on plant tissues.
At the end of the screening step and after the study of the biological activity, the selected products are evaluated in real growing conditions with the goal of confirming their effectiveness on the crops and to optimize dose and application practices. In this phase, we use advanced technologies for plant phenotyping through the use of hyperspectral imaging drones. Additionally, we perform a comprehensive DNA analysis from samples extracted from plant tissue and soil to evaluate potential interactions between the products and the native microbial communities, to guarantee the compatibility of the product within the plant's microbiome (e.g., arbuscular mycorrhizae and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria).