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1.  Dynamic changes in microbiota and mycobiota during spontaneous ‘Vino Santo Trentino’ fermentation 
Microbial Biotechnology  2016;9(2):195-208.
Summary
Vino Santo is a sweet wine produced from late harvesting and pressing of Nosiola grapes in a small, well‐defined geographical area in the Italian Alps. We used metagenomics to characterize the dynamics of microbial communities in the products of three wineries, resulting from spontaneous fermentation with almost the same timing and procedure. Comparing fermentation dynamics and grape microbial composition, we show a rapid increase in a small number of wine yeast species, with a parallel decrease in complexity. Despite the application of similar protocols, slight changes in the procedures led to significant differences in the microbiota in the three cases of fermentation: (i) fungal content of the must varied significantly in the different wineries, (ii) P ichia membranifaciens persisted in only one of the wineries, (iii) one fermentation was characterized by the balanced presence of S accharomyces cerevisiae and H anseniaspora osmophila during the later phases. We suggest the existence of a highly winery‐specific ‘microbial‐terroir’ contributing significantly to the final product rather than a regional ‘terroir’. Analysis of changes in abundance during fermentation showed evident correlations between different species, suggesting that fermentation is the result of a continuum of interaction between different species and physical–chemical parameters.
doi:10.1111/1751-7915.12337
PMCID: PMC4767281  PMID: 26780037
2.  A computational pipeline to discover highly phylogenetically informative genes in sequenced genomes: application to Saccharomyces cerevisiae natural strains 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(9):3834-3848.
The quest for genes representing genetic relationships of strains or individuals within populations and their evolutionary history is acquiring a novel dimension of complexity with the advancement of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. In fact, sequencing an entire genome uncovers genetic variation in coding and non-coding regions and offers the possibility of studying Saccharomyces cerevisiae populations at the strain level. Nevertheless, the disadvantageous cost-benefit ratio (the amount of details disclosed by NGS against the time-expensive and expertise-demanding data assembly process) still precludes the application of these techniques to the routinely assignment of yeast strains, making the selection of the most reliable molecular markers greatly desirable. In this work we propose an original computational approach to discover genes that can be used as a descriptor of the population structure. We found 13 genes whose variability can be used to recapitulate the phylogeny obtained from genome-wide sequences. The same approach that we prove to be successful in yeasts can be generalized to any other population of individuals given the availability of high-quality genomic sequences and of a clear population structure to be targeted.
doi:10.1093/nar/gks005
PMCID: PMC3351171  PMID: 22266652
3.  DC-ATLAS: a systems biology resource to dissect receptor specific signal transduction in dendritic cells 
Immunome Research  2010;6:10.
Background
The advent of Systems Biology has been accompanied by the blooming of pathway databases. Currently pathways are defined generically with respect to the organ or cell type where a reaction takes place. The cell type specificity of the reactions is the foundation of immunological research, and capturing this specificity is of paramount importance when using pathway-based analyses to decipher complex immunological datasets. Here, we present DC-ATLAS, a novel and versatile resource for the interpretation of high-throughput data generated perturbing the signaling network of dendritic cells (DCs).
Results
Pathways are annotated using a novel data model, the Biological Connection Markup Language (BCML), a SBGN-compliant data format developed to store the large amount of information collected. The application of DC-ATLAS to pathway-based analysis of the transcriptional program of DCs stimulated with agonists of the toll-like receptor family allows an integrated description of the flow of information from the cellular sensors to the functional outcome, capturing the temporal series of activation events by grouping sets of reactions that occur at different time points in well-defined functional modules.
Conclusions
The initiative significantly improves our understanding of DC biology and regulatory networks. Developing a systems biology approach for immune system holds the promise of translating knowledge on the immune system into more successful immunotherapy strategies.
doi:10.1186/1745-7580-6-10
PMCID: PMC3000836  PMID: 21092113

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