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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Riccardo Scotti

Dr Riccardo Scotti

Research Associate


I got my MSc in plant biotechnology at University of Naples Federico II in Italy in 2007.  Then, I performed a PhD, at the same University, studying soil microbiome activity under different agricultural managements. At that time, I spent six months at the Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile, studying the interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and lettuce plants. In 2012, I was awarded by the Italian Society of Agricultural Chemistry as best PhD Thesis of the year. During my first PostDoc at Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), in Italy, using a RNASeq approach, I investigated gene expression pattern profiles of tomato plants biostimulated with a Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria. In the 2016, I moved to UK, as visiting PostDoc at European Bioinformatic Institute (EMBL-EBI), in Cambridge, to investigate microbiome composition in different organic amendments. Since September 2018, I am a PostDoc research associate at University of Cambridge.

Subject groups/Research projects

Infection and Immunity:

Research Interests

My recent research spans the broader areas of microbial ecology, plant-bacteria interactions and soil conservation in agricultural environments. Starting from the primary concept that plants are not stand-alone organisms, but rather key players a complex system which includes the soil, my PhD focused on understanding the effects of different agricultural managements on soil microbiome activity. From here, I developed an interest for plant biostimulants; using a RNA-Seq approach, I characterized a new model response of tomato plants to the Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR), belonging to the Pseudomonas genus. Both these projects have been instrumental in my development as an all-round scientist, and have contributed to my extensive skills in microbial molecular biology, high-throughput sequencing technologies and bioinformatics. The next obvious step was to come back to the microbiome and investigate the key aspects of its functionality by exploiting the skills, expertise and abilities I acquired in previous years. My current work looks at microbiome composition in animal gut in the attempt to describe new interaction models between host-parasite-gut microbiome. 


  • Microbial ecology
  • Microbiome
  • Host pathogen interaction

Key Publications

  1. Scotti R., D’Agostino N., Zaccardelli M. (2019). Gene expression profiling of tomato roots interacting with Pseudomonas fluorescens unravels the molecular reprogramming that occurs during the early phases of colonization. Symbiosis, 1-16.  
  2. Scotti R., Pane C., Zaccardelli M. (2018). Short-term interaction between organic matter from biofuel defatted seed cakes and soil microbiota in two intensive horticulture systems. European Journal of Soil Biology 85, 30–35.
  3. D’Agostino N., Sorrentino R., Scotti R., Salzano M., Aurilia V., Zaccardelli M. (2017). Draft genome sequence of the plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CREA-C16 isolated from pea (Pisum sativum L.) rhizosphere. Genome Announcements 5:e01456-16.
  4. Scotti, R., Pane, C., Spaccini, R., Palese, A.M., Piccolo, A., Celano, G., Zaccardelli, M. (2016).        On-farm compost: a useful tool to improve soil quality under intensive farming systems. Applied Soil Ecology 107, 13–23.
  5. Scotti, R., D’Ascoli, R., Bonanomi, G., Caceres, M. G., Sultana, S., Cozzolino, L., Scelza, R., Zoina, A., Rao, M. A. (2015). Combined use of compost and wood scraps to increase carbon stock and improve soil quality in intensive farming systems. European Journal of Soil Science 66, 463-475.