Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura
Genomics Research Centre
via S. Protaso, 302
I -29017 Fiorenzuola d'Arda PC, Italy
Erica Mica graduated in Agro-industrial Biotechnology at the University of Verona (2003) and got her PhD in Biomolecular Sciences and Genetics at the University of Milano, in 2006, with a
PhD thesis entitled “Characterization of miRNA families in Zea mays L. and Arabidopsis thaliana”. Starting from February 2006, she spent 8 months as visiting scientist at Max Planck Institute, in the lab of Prof Detlef Weigel, working on Arabidopsis miRNAs. As a Post-Doc she moved at the School for Advanced Studies “Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna” of Pisa, in 2008.
She is, currently, the coordinator of a 3-year Research Programme, from the Italian Ministry for Research and university – FIRB Programma Futuro in Ricerca 2010 (no RBFR10SDOV).
She moved to the CRA-Genomics Research Centre, with a permanent position, in 2013.
Current research interests
Erica Mica's first research objective is the identification and characterization of miRNAs and other smallRNAs in developing plants. miRNAs are short (20-24 nt) non coding RNA molecules regulating gene activity at different levels, based on a sequence specific recognition mechanism. They have been discovered in plants in 2002 and are now considered key factors of different biological processes.
Erica Mica was involved in the Grapevine genome sequencing Consortium, aiming at discovering and characterizing miRNA genes. Following this effort, current projects on Grapevine are focused on the production of a wide miRNA expression atlas, on the definition of small RNA role in Genotype x Environment interactions, and on their involvement in rootstock-scion cross talk. Additionally she is the coordinator of a research project on Brachypodium distachyon, a model species for cereals such as barley and wheat, highly resistant to drought. She is investigating not only miRNAs but also their target genes and transcriptome changes in general, to understand how the miRNA regulatory networks are involved in drought response during leaf growth. Most of these analyses are performed combining in silico and Next Generation Sequencing approaches, exploiting their high sensitivity in detecting rare small RNA molecules, their high efficiency and multiplexing possibility.
Selected recent publications
- Guerra D, Crosatti C, Khoshro HH, Mastrangelo AM, Mica E and Mazzucotelli E. Post-transcriptional and post-translational regulations of drought and heat response in plants: a spider’s web of mechanisms. Front. Plant Sci. (2015) doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00057
- International Peach Genome Initiative, Verde I, Abbott AG, Scalabrin S, Jung S, Shu S, Marroni F, Zhebentyayeva T, Dettori MT, Grimwood J, Cattonaro F,Zuccolo A, Rossini L, Jenkins J, Vendramin E, Meisel LA, Decroocq V, Sosinski B, Prochnik S, Mitros T, Policriti A, Cipriani G, Dondini L, Ficklin S, Goodstein DM, Xuan P, Del Fabbro C, Aramini V, Copetti D, Gonzalez S, Horner DS, Falchi R, Lucas S, Mica E, Maldonado J, Lazzari B, Bielenberg D, Pirona R, Miculan M, Barakat A, Testolin R, Stella A, Tartarini S, Tonutti P, Arús P, Orellana A, Wells C, Main D, Vizzotto G, Silva H, Salamini F, Schmutz J, Morgante M, Rokhsar DS. The high-quality draft genome of peach (Prunus persica) identifies unique patterns of genetic diversity, domestication and genome evolution. Nat Genet. 2013 May;45(5):487-94. doi: 10.1038/ng.2586.
- Bertolini E, Verelst W, Horner DS, Gianfranceschi L, Piccolo V, Inzé D, Pè ME, Mica E. Addressing the role of microRNAs in reprogramming leaf growth during drought stress in Brachypodium distachyon. Mol Plant. 2012 Dec 21. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1093/mp/sss160
- Wollmann H, Mica E, Todesco M, Long JA, Weigel D. On reconciling the interactions between APETALA2, miR172 and AGAMOUS with the ABC model of flower development. Development. 2010 Nov;137(21):3633-42. doi: 10.1242/dev.036673. Epub 2010 Sep 28.
- Batelli G, Gambino G, Mica E., Schubert A, Carra A. (2010). Small RNA extraction and expression analysis by Northern Blot. In: Delrot S, Medrano H, Or E, Bavaresco L, Grando S.. Methodologies and results in Grapevine Research. p. 343-353, Heidelberg: Springer , ISBN/ISSN: 9789048192823
- Mica E, Piccolo V, Delledonne M, Ferrarini A, Pezzotti M, Casati C, Del Fabbro C, Valle G, Policriti A, Morgante M, Pesole G, Pè ME, Horner DS. Correction: High throughput approaches reveal splicing of primary microRNA transcripts and tissue specific expression of mature microRNAs in Vitis vinifera. BMC Genomics. 2010 Feb 12;11:109. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-11-109.
- Carra A, Mica E, Gambino G, Pindo M, Moser C, Pè ME, Schubert A. Cloning and characterization of small non-coding RNAs from grape. Plant J. 2009 Sep;59(5):750-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2009.03906.x. Epub 2009 May 5.
- Wang JW, Schwab R, Czech B, Mica E, Weigel D. Dual effects of miR156-targeted SPL genes and CYP78A5/KLUH on plastochron length and organ size in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell. 2008 May;20(5):1231-43. doi: 10.1105/tpc.108.058180. Epub 2008 May 20.
- Jaillon O, Aury JM, Noel B, Policriti A, Clepet C, Casagrande A, Choisne N, Aubourg S, Vitulo N, Jubin C, Vezzi A, Legeai F, Hugueney P, Dasilva C, Horner D, Mica E, Jublot D, Poulain J, Bruyère C, Billault A, Segurens B, Gouyvenoux M, Ugarte E, Cattonaro F, Anthouard V, Vico V, Del Fabbro C, Alaux M, Di Gaspero G, Dumas V, Felice N, Paillard S, Juman I, Moroldo M, Scalabrin S, Canaguier A, Le Clainche I, Malacrida G, Durand E, Pesole G, Laucou V, Chatelet P, Merdinoglu D, Delledonne M, Pezzotti M, Lecharny A, Scarpelli C, Artiguenave F, Pè ME, Valle G, Morgante M, Caboche M, Adam-Blondon AF, Weissenbach J, Quétier F, Wincker P; French-Italian Public Consortium for Grapevine Genome Characterization. The grapevine genome sequence suggests ancestral hexaploidization in major angiosperm phyla. Nature. 2007 Sep 27;449(7161):463-7. Epub 2007 Aug 26.
- Mica E, Gianfranceschi L, Pè ME. Characterization of five microRNA families in maize. J Exp Bot. 2006;57(11):2601-12. Epub 2006 Jul 4.