Plant Breeding, Biotechnology, Biochemistry  and Cropping Systems Research Area

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Phone: +39 0371 404741



  • Doctoral Degree in Agricultural Sciences, Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Piacenza
  • Habilitation to the profession of Agronomist
  • Research stages in several international Institutes (Station D'Amélioration des Arbres Forestiers INRA, Orlèans, France; Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology, Oxford, UK; Institut des Sciences du Végétal CNRS, Gif sur Yvette, France; Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica, Oeiras, Portugal) to improve knowledge on plant biotechnology

Work experience and research positions

  • Scientist from February 1990 to June 1999 at CRA-PLF (former Istituto di Sperimentazione per la Pioppicoltura) of Casale Monferrato (AL)
  • from July 1999 at CRA-FLC (former Istituto Sperimentale per le Colture Foraggere) of Lodi

Main research topics

  • Tissue culture and genetic engineering of Medicago spp. for functional genomic studies
  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms of abiotic stress responses in Medicago spp.

Scientific responsibilities

  • Responsible of “In vitro culture” Laboratory
  • Research Unit responsible / Scientist in several national and EU projects
  • Advisor for graduate and Ph.D. students at the Department of Genetics and Microbiology (University of Pavia)
  • Reviewer for several international Journals in the plant biotechnology field

Scientific publications

Over 35 (excluding abstracts or posters, and oral communications in national and international conferences), including 3 chapters in national / international books, 2 reviews and 26 papers on peer-reviewed international journals

Recent selected publications

  • Confalonieri M., Cammareri M., Biazzi E., Pecchia P., Fevereiro M.P.S., Balestrazzi A., Tava A., Conicella C., (2009) – Enhanced triterpene sapogenin biosynthesis and root nodulation in transgenic barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaertn.) expressing a novel β-amyrin synthase (AsOXA1) gene. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 7 (2): 172-182.
  • Macovei A., Balestrazzi A., Confalonieri M., Carbonera D., (2010) – The tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase gene family in Medicago truncatula Gaertn.: bioinformatic investigation and expression profiles in response to copper- and PEG-mediated stress. Planta, 232: 393-407.
  • Confalonieri M., Borghetti R., Macovei A., Testoni C., Carbonera D., Fevereiro P., Rommens C., Swords K., Piano E., Balestrazzi A., (2010) – Backbone-free transformation of barrel medic (Medicago truncatula) with a Medicago-derived transfer DNA. Plant Cell Reports, 29: 1013-1021.
  • Balestrazzi A., Confalonieri M., Macovei A., Carbonera D., (2011) – Genotoxic stress and DNA repair in plants: emerging functions and tools for improving crop productivity. Plant Cell Reports, 30: 287-295.
  • Macovei A., Balestrazzi A., Confalonieri M., Buttafava A., Carbonera D., (2011) – The TFIIS and TFIIS-like genes from Medicago truncatula are involved in oxidative stress response. Gene, 470: 20-30.
  • Balestrazzi A., Confalonieri M., Macovei A., Carbonera D., (2011) – Seed imbibition in Medicago truncatula Gaertn.: Expression profiles of DNA repair genes in relation to PEG-mediated stress. Journal of Plant Physiology, 168: 706-713.
  • Macovei A., Balestrazzi A., Confalonieri M., Faé M., Carbonera D., (2011) – New insights on the barrel medic MtOGG1 and MtFPG functions in relation to oxidative stress response in planta and during seed imbibition. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 49: 1040-1050.
  • Balestrazzi A., Confalonieri M., Macovei A., Donà M., Carbonera D., (2012) –  Genotoxic stress, DNA repair and crop productivity. In: "Crop Improvement Under Adverse Conditions" N Tuteja and SS Gill Eds. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 153-170.
  • Donà M., Ventura L., Macovei A., Confalonieri M., Savio M., Giovannini A., Carbonera D., Balestrazzi A., (2013) – Gamma irradiation with different dose rates induces different DNA damage responses in Petunia x hybrida cells. Journal of Plant Physiology, 170: 780-787.
  • Donà M., Confalonieri M., Minio A., Biggiogera M., Buttafava A., Raimondi E., Delledonne M., Ventura L., Sabatini M.E., Macovei A., Giraffa G., Carbonera D., Balestrazzi A., (2013) – RNA-Seq analysis discloses early senescence and nucleolar dysfunction triggered by Tdp1α depletion in Medicago truncatula. Journal of Experimental Botany, 64: 1941-1951.
  • Donà M., Ventura L., Balestrazzi A., Buttafava A., Carbonera D., Confalonieri M., Giraffa G., Macovei A., (2014) – Dose-dependent reactive species accumulation and preferential double strand breaks repair are featured in the gamma-ray response in Medicago truncatula cells. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, 32: 129-141.
  • Confalonieri M., Faè M., Balestrazzi A., Donà M., Macovei A., Valassi A., Giraffa G., Carbonera D., (2014) – Enhanced osmotic stress tolerance in Medicago truncatula plants overexpressing the DNA repair gene MtTdp2α (tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 2). Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture, 116 (2): 187-203.
  • Confalonieri M., Carelli M., Galimberti V., Macovei A., Panara F., Biggiogera M., Scotti C., Calderini O., (2014) – Seed-specific expression of AINTEGUMENTA in Medicago truncatula led to the production of larger seeds and improved seed germination. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, DOI 10.1007/s11105-014-0706-4.
  • Faè M., Balestrazzi A., Confalonieri M., Donà M., Macovei A., Valassi A., Giraffa G., Carbonera D., (2014) – Copper-mediated genotoxic stress is attenuated by the overexpression of the DNA repair gene MtTdp2α (tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 2) in Medicago truncatula plants. Plant Cell Reports, DOI 10.1007/s00299-014-1595-6.