Giovanni Bortolami

Giovanni with mate profile picture

Climate change is dramatically increasing plant mortality rates worldwide. However, we still do not fully understand how biotic and abiotic stress induce plant death and at which thresholds plants are still able to respond. At Naturalis, my postdoc project focuses on the response of tomato plants to drought, linking stem anatomy, water use efficiency and transport, and root pressure. My project involves a collaboration between Naturalis and the Universities of Leiden and Ghent.


Drought, Embolism Resistance, Plant Mortality, Tomato, X-ray microCT

Dr. Giovanni Bortolami

Functional Traits


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I am a plant biologist, interested in how plants act and respond to abiotic and biotic stresses.

My research interests focus on plant anatomical adaptations and how different stresses affect plant physiology, with a particular attention on plant water relations and carbon economy. In particular, I’m interested on drought stress, how it modifies plant behavior and when (at which thresholds) it induces final plant death. During my PhD at INRAE (France), I studied how a vascular disease in combination with drought interact during grapevine dieback. In my postdoc project, I will use my expertise on plant water transport and carbon economy in grapevine to investigate more in detail the whole-plant drought response in a number of tomato accessions that differ in drought tolerance.

grapevine petiole under X-ray
Open stomata


  • Bortolami, G., Farolfi, E., Badel, E., Burlett, R., Cochard, H., Ferrer, N., King, A., Lamarque, L.J., Lecomte, P., Marchesseau-Marchal, M., Pouzoulet, J., Torres-Ruiz, J.M., Trueba, S., Delzon, S., Gambetta, G.A., Delmas, C.E.L., 2021. Seasonal and long-term consequences of esca on grapevine stem xylem integrity. Journal of Experimental Botany 72.
  • Bortolami, G., Gambetta, G.A., Cassan, C., Dayer, S., Farolfi, E., Ferrer, N., Gibon, Y., Jolivet, J., Lecomte, P., Delmas, C.E.L., 2021. Grapevines under drought do not express esca leaf symptoms. Proceedings National Acadademy of Sciences 118, e2112825118.
  • Bortolami, G., Gambetta, G.A., Delzon, S., Lamarque, L.J., Pouzoulet, J., Badel, E., Burlett, R., Charrier, G., Cochard, H., Dayer, S., Jansen, S., King, A., Lecomte, P., Lens, F., Torres-Ruiz, J.M., Delmas, C.E.L., 2019. Exploring the Hydraulic Failure Hypothesis of Esca Leaf Symptom Formation. Plant Physiology 181, 1163–1174.
  • Dayer, S., Herrera, J.C., Dai, Z., Burlett, R., Lamarque, L.J., Delzon, S., Bortolami, G., Cochard, H., Gambetta, G.A., 2020. The sequence and thresholds of leaf hydraulic traits underlying grapevine varietal differences in drought tolerance. Journal of Experimental Botany 71.

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