My name is Michela and I’m a Plant Molecular Biologist with an extensive knowledge in Genetics and Functional Genomics. I have always been interested in Gene Regulatory Networks underlying plant development in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana and in the crop species Oryza sativa. I am currently working as post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics in Barcelona (Spain), studying the cross-talk between transcription factors and hormonal pathways involved in plant adaptation to the environment. In particular, I am investigating plant response to abiotic stresses related to climate change, such as elevated ambient temperature, water limitation and increased soil salinity.


Beyond the bench, I have actively participated in outreach activities to foster equal opportunities and promote scientific culture, including Science: it’s a girl thing and different editions of Fascination of Plants Day. Since 2018, I have been leading Secret life of a Plant Biologist, my own science communication project aimed at explaining the everyday life of Plants Scientists inside and outside the laboratory. I also manage the dedicated web-page and the Social Media (@secretlifeofaplantbiologist).

Career Status:
Postdoctoral Scholar

Research Areas:
Abiotic Interactions, Development, Education and Outreach, Gene Regulation, Genetics, Genomics, Growth Regulation, Molecular Biology, Signals and Responses


  1. Aguilar-Jaramillo AE, Marín-González E, Matías-Hernández L, Osnato M, Pelaz S, Suárez-López P. TEMPRANILLO is a direct repressor of the microRNA miR172. Plant J. 2019 Jul 16. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14455.
  2. Harrop TW, Ud Din I, Gregis V, Osnato M, Jouannic S, Adam H, Kater MM. Gene expression profiling of reproductive meristem types in early rice inflorescences by laser microdissection. Plant J. 2016 Apr; 86(1):75-88. doi: 10.1111/tpj. 
  3. Matías-Hernández L, Aguilar-Jaramillo AE, Osnato M, Weinstain R, Shani E, Suárez-López P, Pelaz S. TEMPRANILLO Reveals the Mesophyll as Crucial for Epidermal Trichome Formation. Plant Physiol. 2016 Mar; 170(3):1624-39. doi: 10.1104/pp.15.01309.
  4. Kuijt SJ, Greco R, Agalou A, Shao J, 't Hoen CC, Overnäs E, Osnato M, Curiale S, Meynard D, van Gulik R, de Faria Maraschin S, Atallah M, de Kam RJ, Lamers GE, Guiderdoni E, Rossini L, Meijer AH, Ouwerkerk PB. Interaction between the GROWTH-REGULATING FACTOR and KNOTTED1-LIKE HOMEOBOX families of transcription factors. Plant Physiol. 2014 Apr; 164(4):1952-66. doi: 10.1104/pp.113.222836. 
  5. Dreni L, Osnato M, Kater MM. The ins and outs of the rice AGAMOUS subfamily. Mol Plant. 2013 May;6(3):650-64. doi: 10.1093/mp/sst019. 
  6. Osnato M, Castillejo C, Matías-Hernández L, Pelaz S. TEMPRANILLO genes link photoperiod and gibberellin pathways to control flowering in Arabidopsis. Nat Commun. 2012 May 1; 3:808. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1810. 
  7. Osnato M, Stile MR, Wang Y, Meynard D, Curiale S, Guiderdoni E, Liu Y, Horner DS, Ouwerkerk PB, Pozzi C, Müller KJ, Salamini F, Rossini L. Cross talk between the KNOX and ethylene pathways is mediated by intron-binding transcription factors in barley. Plant Physiol. 2010 Dec; 154(4):1616-32. doi: 10.1104/pp.110.161984.
  8. Vannini C, Locatelli F, Bracale M, Magnani E, Marsoni M, Osnato M, Mattana M, Baldoni E, Coraggio I. Overexpression of the rice Osmyb4 gene increases chilling and freezing tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Plant J. 2004 Jan;37(1):115-27.

Volunteer Activities

In 2019, WWF volunteer for wild-life conservation in south of Italy

Since 2018, leader of the scientific communication project Secret life of a plant biologist

In 2016, designated member of the editorial board of the science communication book Sketching Cientific CRAG

Participation in different edition of the Fascination of Plants day in Italy and Spain (2013-2015-2017)

Participation in the initiative Science: it’s a girl thing in collaboration with the Science Museum Leonardo da Vinci (Milan, Italy) in 2013

Current Affiliations
Experience & Education