The focus of research in the Giovannoni Laboratory is molecular and genetic analysis of fruit ripening and related signal transduction systems with emphasis on the relationship of fruit ripening to nutritional quality. We are also involved in development of tools for genomics of the Solanaceae including participation in the International Tomato Sequencing Project. We employ several experimental systems but the majority of our work involves the use of tomato. The broad objectives of the lab include deciphering the underlying molecular basis of components of ripening regulation conserved through evolution and how these regulatory networks coordinate ripening events including those related to quality and nutritional content.
Experimental approaches include: 1) positional cloning of loci known via mutation to harbor genes necessary for normal fruit development and ripening, and 2) isolation of candidate ripening regulatory genes based on expression pattern or relationship to ripening-related signal transduction systems (e.g. ethylene, light), and functional analysis in transgenic plants.