Simone Castellarin

Simone Castellarin

Canada Research Chair in Viticulture and Plant Genomics

Professor & Associate Director, Wine Research Centre


FNH 211, 2205 East Mall

Castellarin Lab

University of Udine, PhD, Agricultural Science and Biotechnology

University of Udine, BSc, Agricultural Science and Technology

My research focuses on viticulture and grapevine physiology. Particularly, it considers the physiological and molecular aspects that underlay fruit ripening and the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and how they are modulated by the environment and viticultural practices.

My laboratory currently uses a multidisciplinary approach that combines field and greenhouse experiments and targeted and untargeted analysis of metabolites and transcripts.

The laboratory has a robust partnership with top scientists in the field of viticulture, grapevine physiology and applied genomics in North America and Europe.

My research is shaped by my agriculture-oriented background and considers those aspects of grapevine physiology that are relevant for improving fruit quality in vineyards.


Some recent and forthcoming research projects are:

  • Characterization of molecular and physiological mechanisms that activate and modulate fruit ripening in grapevine
  • Analysis of the genetic and environmental control of secondary metabolites in grapevine
  • Analysis of the effect of water deficit on fruit physiology in white and red grapevine varieties
  • Analysis of the effect of canopy management techniques on fruit physiology and wine quality

I am interested in working with undergraduate students, graduate students and postdocs with strong interest in molecular viticulture and with outstanding training in one or more of the following subjects: plant molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics, plant physiology and viticulture.

Wong DCJ, *Lopez Gutierrez R, Gambetta GA, Castellarin SD (2017) Genome-wide analysis of cis-regulatory element structure and discovery of motifdriven gene co-expression networks in grapevine. DNA Research 24 (3), 311-326.

Ariani P, Regaiolo A, Lovato A, Giorgetti A, Porceddu A, CamioloS , Wong DCJ, Castellarin SD, Vandelle E, Polverari A (2016) Genome-wide characterisation and expression profile of the grapevine ATL ubiquitin ligase family reveal biotic and abiotic stress-responsive and development-related members. Scientific Reports 6, 38260.

Hochberg U, Herrera JC, Degu A, Fait A, Castellarin SD, Peterlunger E, Alberti G, Lazarovitch N (2016) Evaporative demand determines the relative transpirational sensitivity of deficit-irrigated grapevines. Irrigation Science 35 (1), 1-9.

Loyola R, Herrera D, Mas A, Wong DCJ, Höll J, Cavallini E, Amato A, Azuma A, Ziegler T, Aquea F, Castellarin SD, Bogs J, Tornielli GB, Peña-Neira A, Czemmel S, Alcalde JA, Matus JT, Arce-Johnson P. The photomorphogenic factors UV-B RECEPTOR 1, LONG HYPOCOTYL 5 and HY5 HOMOLOG are part of the UV-B signalling pathway in grapevine and mediate flavonol accumulation in response to the environment. Journal of Experimental Botany 67 (18): 5429-5445.

Wong DCJ; Schlechter R, Vannozzi A, Höll J, Hmmam I, Bogs J,Tornielli GB, Castellarin SD, Matus JT (2016) A systems-oriented analysis of the grapevine R2R3-MYB transcription factor family uncovers new insights into the regulation of stilbene accumulation. DNA Research 23 (5), 451-466.

Sivilotti P, Herrera JC, Lisjak K, Česnik HB, Sabbatini P, Peterlunger E, Castellarin SD (2016) Impact of leaf removal, applied before and after flowering, on anthocyanin, tannin, and methoxypyrazine concentrations in ‘Merlot’ (Vitis vinifera L.) grapes and wines. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Accepted

Wong DCJ, Lopez Gutierrez R, Dimopoulos N, Gambetta GA, Castellarin SD (2016) Combined physiological, transcriptome, and cis-regulatory element analyses indicate that fruit size influences key aspects of ripening, metabolism, and transcriptional program in grapes (Vitis vinifera L.). BMC Genomics Accepted

See more publications

  • 2009 Rudolf Hermanns Award (Geisenheim, Germany) ‒ Outstanding scientific achievements in all fields of viticulture and horticulture
  • 2007 Sigismondo Douglas Attems Petzenstein Award (Cormons, Italy) ‒ Best PhD thesis in Viticulture and Enology
  • 2004 Sigismondo Douglas Attems Petzenstein Award (Cormons, Italy) ‒ Best MSc thesis in Viticulture and Enology