Research
potatoes 10x10.jpg

In recent years our group has expanded its interest also to other crops. This part of our research is generally done with other partners, either private or institutional.

In grapevines (Vitis vinifera) we are studying the molecular diversity of more than 50 native ecotypes for their valorisation and protection. For some used in wine production, we also aim to develop new molecular markers as valuable genomic tools for their molecular traceability and to ensure the accuracy of the information found on product labels. Regione Campania funds part of the research in the frame of the project SALVE (Safeguard of Plant Biodiversity). 

As for Brassica, our efforts are focusing on turning top (Brassica rapa subsp. sylvestris var. esculenta), a species of Mediterranean origin widely distributed in the Campania region (Southern Italy) and locally known as friariello. In collaboration with the seed company “La Semiorto Sementi”, we are currently analysing 15 turning top genotypes collected in Southern Italy and characterizing them at the phenotypical and molecular level. In addition, flavonols and glucosinaltes profiles are being generated. The attention of breeders to this species has been negligible so far, therefore breeding programs are ongoing. 

In tomato, we are collaborating with other groups in studying traits related to fruit quality and resistances. Our efforts are also directed towards comparative structural genomics studies and gene functional analysis. 

As for common bean, we are collaborating with University of Ciego de Avila (Cuba) to verify whether genetic stability of cryopreserved material is affected before routinely using this technique for long-term conservation of plant genetic resources. Similar analyses are being carried out also in other crops. 

In the last few years our laboratory has coordinated and promoted a multidisciplinary research project related to the traceability, characterization and valorization of southern Italian typical products. This project, called TIPIPAPA, involved six research units specialized in genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics as well as in soil and cost-benefits analysis. The model crop chosen has been the potato, but the system set up has the potential to be extended to any other crop. For more details on TIPIPAPA and the results obtained by the research units, click here.