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Rapparini Francesca

last modified Oct 01, 2014 09:15 AM
Rapparini Francesca
Rapparini Francesca

Francesca Rapparini

National Research Council

Institute of Biometeorology (IBIMET)

Sect. Bologna,

Via P.Gobetti, 101

I-40129 Bologna (Italy)

Tel. +39 051-6399005
Fax +39 0516399024

e-Mail: f.rapparini@ibimet.cnr.it


Senior Scientist at Italian National Research Council, Institute of Biometeorology (IBIMET), Bologna

Doctor in Biology, University of Bologna



  • Primary and Secondary Metabolism of plants under environmental constraints: metabolomics studies of plant physiology to investigate the role of different endogenous compounds (xanthophylls, plant hormones, carbohydrates, isoprenoids, etc…) in plant responses to different stress conditions (drought stress, heavy metal soil pollution, etc..).

  • Biosphere-Atmosphere interactions: with emphasis on emissions of Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOC): research on the physiological, ecological and environmental controlling factors of emissions from plants, and interactions between climate change variables and VOC emission.

  • Impact of VOCs emission from natural sources on atmospheric chemistry and sustainability: release of gaseous compounds from biomass used for energetics transformation and their contribution to air quality.

  • Outdoor and Indoor phytoremediation: research on the role of vegetation in affecting air quality in urban outdoor and indoor environment, through mitigation of pollutants and through evaluation of the impact of VOC emissions.

  • Urban forestry and green infrastructures: quantification of ecosystem services, benefits and costs.

  • Biochemical studies on food aromas.

  • Physiology of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi

  • Science communication



2012- Bologna, Italy, CNR: Senior Researcher

2006 Bologna, Italy, CNR: Full time Researcher

2002-2006 Bologna, Italy, CNR, Researcher.

2006 Barcelona, Spain, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Visiting scientist: Research awarded short visit grant (VOCBAS, European Science Foundation) at CREAF (Center for Ecological Applications and Forestry Applications), Prof. Penuelas

2004 Mexico City, NCAR-ACD and Mexico City University, Visiting scientist: participation at field campaign coordinated by Dr. A. Guenther within the MIRAGE project (http://mirage-mex.acd.ucar.edu/), NCAR-ACD and Mexico City University

2003 North Carolina, USA, University of North Carolina, EPA. NCAR, USA: Visiting scientist, CNR-research award, participant at the field campaign within the CELTIC Project, EPA and NSF sponsored (USA), coordinated by Dr. Alex Guenther (ACD-NCAR, USA)

1997 Beltsville, MD, USA, USDA, Horticultural Crops Quality Laboratory and at the Climate Stress Laboratory, Agricultural Research Centre, Visiting scientist

1993-2002 Bologna, Italy, CNR, Fellowships



Overview of experience

Twenty years of research experience in plant physiology and ecophysiology, at the Institute of Biometeorology, CNR (Italy), of the National Research Council of Italy (IBIMET-CNR).

I have specific experience in plant physiology and ecophysiology. I have extensive instrumental experience in analytical techniques including GC, GC-MS, HPLC. In particular I developed isotopic methods to study the physiological basis of plant hormone physiology and biosynthesis, as well as of plant biogenic hydrocarbons using GC-MS and lately, PTR-MS.

My research focused on plant physiology and ecophysiological studies on volatile organic compound (VOC) emission from vegetation at plant and ecosystem scale. I have been involved in several projects aimed to study the interaction between plants and the environment. I investigated the effects of different environmental factors (e.g. elevated ambient CO2, drought stress) on the mechanisms which control plant growth and development, and I studied the emission of biogenic hydrocarbons from agricultural and natural ecosystems and their role on the atmospheric chemistry. In particular I was involved in European projects (EUROTRAC-BIATEX, MEDEFLU, FUTURE-VOC), USA-project (CELTIC and MIRAGE) and Spanish project (MONTES) applying different VOC sampling techniques such as enclosure techniques, to provide emission estimates for individual leaves and branches, and micrometeorological flux measurement techniques (Relaxed Eddy Accumulation, tethered-balloon sampling system) of BVOCs at the ecosystem level.

Within different international and national projects I developed methods for investigating the role of fruit and fruit product (e.g. olive oil, wine) characteristics analysing aroma profiles.

more than 30 publications in high impact journals. World-wide contacts and collaborators.


Experience of supervising PhD students and small research teams, and organising and executing field-work in Italy and abroad.


International Projects

European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research COST 8.10 (Application of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal in micropropagated plants).

Bilateral Project with CNRS (Francia) on Mycorrhiza and micropropagation.

Bilateral project with CONICET (Argentina) Interaction between light and hormones in the regulation of shoot growth.

Bilateral project with USDA (Beltsville, USA).

European Project EUROTRAC-2, BIATEX-2 (Atmosphere/Biosphere Exchange of pollutants)

European project MEDEFLU: European Community Fluxes in Mediterrean Area- contract ENV4-CT97-0455.

European Project BETULA-EU-INCO IC15CT98-0102.

Bilateral Project CNR-CAF (Chinese Academy of Forestry)

European Project FUTURE-VOC: Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emission of European forests under CO2 levels: influence on compound composition and source strength-contract EVK2-1999-00281

European Project POPFACE: An European free air enrichment experiment on poplar plantations- contract n. ENV4-CT970657.

Bilateral project CNR (Italy)-PAN (Polonia) Selection of woody species and mycorrhizal fungi for phytoremediation of polluted area.

CELTIC Project (USA), Chemical Emission, Loss, Transformation and Interactions within Canopies, EPA and NSF sponsored and coordinated by Dr. Alex Guenther.

Bilateral project CNR (Italy)-BAS(Bulgaria) Study on the mechanism of desiccation tolerance of the resurrection plant Haberlea rhodopensis under high temperature and high irradiance conditions

2010 CONSOLIDER INGENIO MONTES CSD2008-00040 project “Spanish woodlands and global change: threats and opportunities” funded by the Ministery of Science of the Spanish Government.

Life+ European project GAIA, (Green Areas Inner-cities Agreement) http://www.lifegaia.eu/IT/index.xhtml).

Ldr project: The Language of the Research" (CNR).


Selected relevant Publications

  1. Greenberg JP, Peñuelas J, Guenther A, Seco R.,Turnipseed A, Jiang X, Filella I, Estiarte M, Sardans J, Ogaya R, Llusia J, and F Rapparini. 2014. A tethered-balloon PTRMS sampling approach for surveying of landscape-scale biogenic VOC fluxes. Atmospheric Measurements Techniques, 7: 2263–2271.

  2. Rapparini F. Peñuelas J. Mycorrhizal fungi to alleviate drought stress on plant growth. 2014. In: Use of microbes for the alleviation of soil stresses. Miransari M (ed), Springer, New York, pp 21-42.

  3. Peñuelas, J., Guenther, A., Rapparini, F., Llusia, J., Filella, I., Seco, R., Estiarte, M., Mejia-Chang, M., Ogaya, R., Ibañez, J., Sardans, J., Castaño, L.M., Turnipseed, A., Duhl, T., Harley, P., Patton, N., Vila, J., Estavillo, J.M., Villanueva, S., Facini, O., Baraldi, R., Geron, C., Mak, J., Greenberg, J. 2013. Vegetation feedbacks on atmosphere: Intensive measurements of gas, water, and energy exchange between vegetation and troposphere during the MONTES Campaign in a vegetation gradient from short semi-desertic shrublands to tall wet temperate forests in the NW Mediterranean basin. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Atmospheric Environment 75: 348-364.

  4. Llusia J., J.Peñuelas, A.Guenther, F. Rapparini. 2013. "Seasonal variations in terpene emission factors of dominant species in four ecosystems in NE Spain". Atmospheric Environment (accepted).

  5. Baraldi R., Rapparini F., Facini O., Kamper Pacheco C.J., Matteucci G., Brancaleoni E., Ciccioli P. Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound emissions. Environmental Science and Engineering (submitted).

  6. Sæbø A, Hanslin H.M., Baraldi R., Rapparini F., Gawronska H., Gawronski S.W. 2013. Characterization of urban trees and shrubs for particulate deposition, carbon sequestration and BVOC emissions. Proc IInd IS on Woody Ornamentals of the Moderate Zone. Ed J Van Hylenbroceck. Acta Hort. 990, ISHS. P 509-516.

  7. Asensio D., Rapparini F., Penuelas J. 2012. AM fungi root colonization increases the production of essential isoprenoids vs. nonessential isoprenoids especially under drought stress conditions or after jasmonic acid application. Phytochemistry,77: 149-161.

  8. Baraldi R., Rapparini F., Tosi G. and S. Ottoni. 2010. New aspects on the impact of vegetation in urban environment. ISHS 2nd International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture: 1:543-546.

  9. Chiappetta A., M. Fambrini, M. Petrarulo, F. Rapparini, V. Michelotti, L. Bruno, M- Greco, R. Baraldi, M. Salvini, C. Pugliesi, M. B. Bitonti. 2009. Ectopic expression of leafy cotyledon1-like gene and localized auxin accumulation early mark embryogenic competence in epiphyllous plants of Helianthus annuus x H. tuberosus. Annals of Botany 103: 735-747

  10. F. Rapparini, J. Luisià, J. Penuelas. 2008. Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization on terpene emission and content of Artemisia annua L. Plant Biology, 10: 108-122.

  11. Baraldi R, Canaccini F, Cortes S, Magnani F, Rapparini F, Zamboni A, Raddi S. 2008. Role of xanthophyll cycle-mediated photoprotection in Arbutus unedo plants exposed to water stress during the Mediterranean summer. Photosynthetica, 46: 378-386.

  12. S. Predieri e F. Rapparini. 2007. Terpene emission in tissue culture. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult. 91: 87-95.

  13. Rapparini F., Baraldi R., Miglietta F. & Loreto F. 2004. Isoprenoid emission in trees of Quercus pubescens and Quercus ilex with lifetime exposure to naturally high CO2 environment. Plant Cell & Environment, 27 (4): 381-391.

  14. Baraldi R., Rapparini F., Oechel W. C., Hastings S. J., Bryant P., Cheng Y. & Miglietta F. 2004. Monoterpene emission responses to elevated CO2 in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem. New Phytologist, 161: 17-21.

  15. Rapparini F., Y.Y. Tam, J. Cohen, and J. Slovin. 2002. Indole-3-acetic acid metabolism in Lemna gibba undergoes dynamic changes in response to growth temperature. Plant Physiology, 28:1-7.