• Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari

Tel :+390649912211
Fax :+390649912500
Research Director

National Research Council
Istitute of Molecular Biology and Pathology CNR
Department of Biology and Biotecnology - Charles Darwin - Sapienza University of Rome Edificio di Fisiologia generale Piano seminterrato P.le A.Moro 5, 00185 Roma

Ida Ruberti coordinates several research programmes aimed at understanding plant developmental responses to the light environment. Her research group identified the first transcription factor (ATHB2) acting as a positive regulator of accelerated elongation in shade avoidance, and demonstrated the existence of a negative regulatory mechanism (acting through HFR1/SICS1) centrally involved in the attenuation of virtually all plant responses to canopy shade. Her group also established that auxin plays a pivotal role in leaf and root responses to low Red/Far-Red light, suggesting that this phytohormone may act as a coordinator of growth in canopy shade. The most recent interests of her research group concern the role of ATHB2 and related HD-Zip transcription factors (HAT3 & ATHB4) in embryo patterning, meristem maintenance and gynoecium development.

D'Orso F, De Leonardis AM, Salvi S, Gadaleta A, Ruberti I, Cattivelli L, Morelli G (2015) Conservation of AtTZF1, AtTZF2 and AtTZF3 homolog gene regulation by salt stress in evolutionarily distant plant species. Front Plant Sci 6, 394 16/06/2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2015.00394.

Turchi L, Baima S, Morelli G, Ruberti I. 2015 Interplay of HD-Zip II and III transcription factors in auxin-regulated plant development. J. Exp Bot 66: 5043-5053.

Ambrosone A, Batelli G, Nurcato R, Aurilia V, Punzo P, Bangarusamy DK, Ruberti I, Sassi M, Leone A, Costa A, Grillo S. 2015. The Arabidopsis RNA-binding protein AtRGGA regulates tolerance to salt and drought stress. Plant Physiol 168: 292-306.

Ruzza V, Sessa G, Sassi M, Morelli G, Ruberti I. 2014. Auxin Coordinates Shoot and Root Development During Shade Avoidance Response. In: Auxin and Its Role in Plant Development, 389-412.

Baima S, Forte V, Possenti M, Peñalosa A, Leoni G, Salvi S, Felici B, Ruberti I, Morelli G. 2014. Negative feedback regulation of auxin signaling by ATHB8/ACL5–BUD2 transcription module. Mol. Plant 7: 1006-1025.

Turchi L, Carabelli M, Ruzza V, Possenti M, Sassi M, Peñalosa A, Sessa G, Salvi S, Forte V, Morelli G, Ruberti I. 2013. Arabidopsis HD-Zip II transcription factors control apical embryo development and meristem function. Development 140: 2118-2129.

Ciolfi A, Sessa G, Sassi M, Possenti M, Salvucci S, Carabelli M, Morelli G, Ruberti I. 2013. Dynamics of the shade-avoidance response in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol 163: 331-353.

Ruberti I, Sessa G, Ciolfi A, Possenti M, Carabelli M, Morelli G. 2011. Plant adaptation to dynamically changing environment: The shade avoidance response. Biotechnol Adv doi:10.1016/j.biotechadv.2011.08.014. 

Farina L, De Santis A, Salvucci S, Morelli G, Ruberti I. 2008. Embedding mRNA stability in correlation analysis of time-series gene expression data. PLoS Comput Biol 4: e1000141.

Ciarbelli AR, Ciolfi A, Salvucci S, Ruzza V, Possenti M, Carabelli M, Fruscalzo A, Sessa G, Morelli G, Ruberti I. 2008. The Arabidopsis homeodomain-leucine zipper II gene family: diversity and redundancy. Plant Mol Biol 68: 465-478.

Carabelli M, Possenti M, Sessa G, Ciolfi A, Sassi M, Morelli G, Ruberti I. 2007. Canopy shade causes a rapid and transient arrest in leaf development through auxin-induced cytokinin oxidase activity. Genes Dev 21: 1863-1868.

Sessa G, Carabelli M, Sassi M, Ciolfi A, Possenti M, Mittempergher F, Becker J, Morelli G, Ruberti I 2005. A dynamic balance between gene activation and repression regulates the shade avoidance response in Arabidopsis. Genes Dev 19: 2811-2815.

Ohashi Y, Oka A, Rodrigues-Pousada R, Possenti M, Ruberti I, Morelli G, Aoyama T. 2003. Modulation of phospholipid signaling by GLABRA2 in root-hair pattern formation. Science  300: 1427-1430.

Steindler C, Matteucci A, Sessa G, Weimar T, Ohgishi M, Aoyama T, Morelli G, Ruberti I. 1999. Shade avoidance responses are mediated by the ATHB-2 HD-Zip protein, a negative regulator of gene expression. Development 126: 4235-4245.

Carabelli M, Morelli G, Whitelam G, Ruberti I. 1996. Twilight-zone and canopy shade induction of the Athb-2 homeobox gene in green plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 93: 3530-3535.

Sessa G, Morelli G, Ruberti I. 1993. The Athb-1 and -2 HD-Zip domains homodimerize forming complexes of different DNA binding specificities. EMBO J. 12: 3507-3517.

Ruberti I, Sessa G, Lucchetti S, Morelli G. 1991. A novel class of plant proteins containing a homeodomain with a closely linked leucine zipper motif. EMBO J. 10: 1787-1791. 

Monica Carabelli, Ricercatore IBPM
Giovanna Sessa, Ricercatore IBPM
Luana Turchi, Assegnista di Ricerca IBPM
Altea Alfè, Dottoranda, Genetica e Biologia Molecolare, Sapienza


Lars Ostergaard, John Innes Centre, Norwich, Regno Unito
Ben Scheres, Wageningen Research University, The Netherlands
Giorgio Morelli, CREA - Centro di Ricerca Alimenti e Nutrizione, Roma


1988 PhD in Cell Biology, Genetics and Biochemistry.

1982 Laurea in Biological Sciences cum laude, Sapienza University of Rome. 


2002-present Research Director, National Research Council, Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology. 

1997-2001 Senior Researcher, National Research Council, Nucleic Acids Research Center. 

1988-1996 Researcher, National Research Council, Nucleic Acids Research Center. 

1986-1987 Research contract, National Research Council, Nucleic Acids Research Center.

1983-1985 Post Doctoral Fellow, Rochester University, Rochester (NY, USA).


2000 Elected member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization). 

Activity as a reviewer for scientific journals (Cell, Development, EMBO J, EMBO Rep, Plant Cell, Plant J, Plant Mol Biol) and granting agencies (EMBO, German Research Foundation, Israel Science Foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, United States Department of Agriculture). 

Participation to European Projects 

Partner of the projects:

ERA-Net: " Multiple Stress Responses and Adaptations" (MIUR FIRB ERA-PG, 2007-2011). 

FP5, Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources: “Transcription factors controlling plant responses to environmental stress conditions” (TF-STRESS, 2000-2003).

FP5, Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources: “Regulatory gene initiative in Arabidopis” (REGIA, 1999-2002).

Invited speaker to international meetings (2008-present)

Conférences de Jacques Monod, Fine Tuning of Plant Signaling Pathways, Roscoff, Bretagne, France (2008). 

Auxin 2008, Marrakesh, Morocco (2008). 

FEBS Workshop, Adaptation Potential in Plants, Vienna, Austria (2009). 

EMBO Conference, Frontiers of Plant Research, Cadiz, Spain (2009). 

15th International Congress on Photobiology, Dusseldorf, Germany (2009).

Conférences de Jacques Monod, Evolution of Plant Developmental Regulatory Mechanisms, Roscoff, Bretagne, France (2011). 

14th Congress of the European Society for Photobiology, Geneva, Switzerland (2011).

Main Meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology’s (SEB), Salzburg, Austria (2012).
Auxins and Cytokinins in Plant Development, Prague, Czech Republic (2014).
Plant Nutrition, Growth & Environmental Interactions, Wien, Austria (2015).