Director of Research

Coordinator of Chemistry and Biochemistry Research Area

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +39 0371 404740 - 404736


  • Doctoral Degree in Chemistry, University of Pavia
  • Habilitation to the profession of Chemist
  • Experience in several international Institutes to improve knowledge on biochemistry of natural compounds
  • Research stage at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca NY (USA), affiliated to Cornell University, on analytical and biological studies of plant metabolites

Work experience and research positions

  • 1988, Farmitalia-Carlo Erba Company (Milano, Italy)
  • Scientist from 1989, at CRA-FLC (former Istituto Sperimentale per le Colture Foraggere) of Lodi
  • Senior scientist from 1998, at CRA-FLC of Lodi
  • Director of Research from 2006, at CRA-FLC of Lodi

Main research topics

  • Characterization of natural substances in plants, their structure elucidation and quantification
  • Biosynthesis of triterpenic glycosides in Medicago spp, chemical genetic of transgenic plants
  • Biological properties of new compounds and their implication in pharmacology and agro industry
  • Nutritional and quality parameters in feed/food, including nutraceutical and toxicological aspects
  • Secondary metabolites from plants and their implication in animal wellbeing

Scientific responsibilities

  • Responsible of “Chemistry/Biochemistry” section
  • Responsible of “Bromatology” laboratory
  • Research Unit responsible/scientist in several national/international projects
  • Advisor for graduate and Ph.D. students at the University of Pavia (Chemistry, Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences) and University of Milano (Agronomy, Animal Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences,)
  • Reviewer for several international Journals in the field of plant biochemistry

Scientific publications

Over 150 papers on international Journals with high impact factor

Recent selected publications

  1. Carelli, M.; Biazzi, E.; Panara, F.; Tava, A.; Scaramelli, L.; Porceddu, A.; Graham, N.; Odoardi, M.; Piano, E.; Arcioni, S.; May, S.; Scotti, C. and Calderini, O. Medicago truncatula CYP716A12 is a multifunctional oxidase involved in the biosynthesis of hemolytic saponins. The Plant Cell, 2011, 23, 3070-3081.
  2. Tava, A.; Scotti, C. and Avato, P. Biosynthesis of saponins in the genus Medicago. Phytochemistry Reviews, 2011, 10, 459-469.
  3. D’Addabbo, T.; Carbonara, T.; Leonetti, P.; Radicci, V.; Tava, A. and Avato, P. Control of plant parasitic nematodes with active saponins and biomass from Medicago sativa. Phytochemistry Reviews, 2011, 10, 503-519.
  4. Tava, A.; Pecetti, L.; Romani, M.; Mella, M. and Avato, P. Triterpenoid glycosides from the leaves of two cultivars of Medicago polymorpha L. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2011, 59, 6142-6149.and nitric oxide biosynthesis in white poplar (Populus alba L.) suspension cultures exposed to alfalfa saponins. Physiologia Plantarum, 2011, 141, 227-238.
  5. Balestrazzi, A.; Agoni, V.; Tava, A.; Avato, P.; Biazzi, E.; Raimondi, E.; Macovei, A. and Carbonera, D. Cell death induction
  6. Balestrazzi, A.; Macovei, A.; Tava, A.; Avato, P.; Raimondi, E. and Carbonera D. Unraveling the response of plant cell to cytotoxic saponins. Role of metallothionein and nitric oxide. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 2011, 6, 516-519.
  7. Chauhan, R.S.; Vashistha, R.K.; Nautiyal, M.C.; Tava, A. and Cecotti, R. Essential oil composition of Hypericum perforatum L. from cultivated source. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 2011, 23(3), 20-25.
  8. Calderini, O.; Carelli, M.; Panara, F.; Biazzi, E.; Scotti, C.; Tava, A.; Porceddu A. and Arcioni, S. Collection of mutants for functional genomic in the legume Medicago truncatula. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization, 2011, 9(2), 74-76.
  9. Povolo, M.; Pelizzola, V.; Lombardi, G.; Tava, A. and Contarini, G. Hydrocarbons and fatty acid composition of cheese as affected by the pasture vegetation type. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012, 60, 299-308.
  10. Cecotti, R.; Carpana, E.; Falchero, L.; Paoletti, R. and Tava, A. Determination of the volatile fraction of Polygonum bistorta L. at different growing stages and evaluation of its antimicrobial activity against two major honeybee (Apis mellifera) pathogens. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 2012, 9, 359-369.
  11. Chauhan, R.S.; Nautiyal, M.C.; Tava, A. and Mella, M. Chemical composition of the volatile oil from the roots of Selinum tenuifolium Wall. Helvetica Chimica Acta, 2012, 95, 780-787.
  12. Doria, E.; Campion, B.; Sparvoli, F.; Tava, A. and Nielsen, E. Anti-nutrient components and metabolites with health implications in seeds of 10 common bean (Pheseolus vulgaris L. and Phaseolus lunatus L.) landraces cultivated in southern Italy. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 2012, 26, 72-80.
  13. Chauhan, R.S.; Nautiyal, M.C.; Tava, A. and Cecotti, R. Essential oil composition of Morina longifolia Wall. ex DC. from the Himalayan region. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 2012, 24(5), 461-463.
  14. Pecetti, L.; Tava, A.; Romani, M.; Cecotti, R. and Mella, M. Variation in terpene and linear-chain hydrocarbon content in yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.) germplasm from the Raethian Alps, Italy. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 2012, 9, 2282-2294.
  15. Brusotti, G.; Tosi, S.; Tava, A.; Picco, A.M.; Grisoli, P.; Cesari, I. and Caccialanza, G. Antimicrobial and phytochemical properties of stem bark of Piptadeniastrum africanum (Hook f.) Brenan. Industrial Crops and Products, 2013, 43, 612-616.
  16. Campion, B.; Glahn, R.; Tava, A.; Perrone, D.; Doria, E.; Sparvoli, F.; Cecotti, R.; Dani, V. and Nielsen E. Genetic reduction of antinutrients in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seed, increases nutrients and in vitro iron bioavailability without depressing main agronomic traits. Field Crops Research, 2013, 141, 27-37.
  17. Povolo, M.; Pelizzola, V.; Passolungo, L.; Biazzi, E.; Tava, A. and Contarini, G. Characterization of two agrostis-festuca alpine pastures and their influence on cheese composition. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013, 61, 447-455.
  18. Pollier, J.; Moses, T.; Gonzalez-Guzman, M.; De Geyter, N.; Lippens, S.; Vanden Bossche, R.; Marhavy, P.; Kremer, A.; Morreel, K.; Guerin, C.J.; Tava, A.; Oleszek, W.; Thevelin, J.M.; Campos, N.; Goormachtig, S. and Goossens, A. The protein quality control system manages plant defense compounds synthesis. Nature, 2013, 504, 148-152. doi: 10.1038/nature12685.