The Plant Pathology Research Centre in Rome was the Plant Pathology Experimental Institute (ISPaVe), one of the Research Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry established by D.P.R. November 1967 No 1318: "Standards for the adjustment of agricultural experimentation" and that, in Article 5, stated: "The Plant Pathology Experimental Institute under article 1, located in Rome, carries out studies and researches regarding diseases and alterations of plants and plant products also in post-harvest, caused by parasites and weeds, by viruses and by unfavourable environmental factors, and develops methods and physical, chemical and biological tools able to prevent diseases and alterations and to fight them. "
Following the Legislative Decree of the 29th of October 1999, n. 454 "Reorganization of the research in agriculture, in accordance with Article 11 of Law of the 15th March, 1997, No. 59" published in the Official Gazette No. 284, December the 3rd, 1999, the sector reform was defined and a single corporation was created. The Institute, therefore, with the approval of the organization and operation Regulations and the administrative and accounting Regulations (D.I. 01/10/2004 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, in consultation with the Minister for Public Administration and Minister of Economy and Finance, and in consultation with the Permanent Conference for relations between the state, regions and autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano), joined the single corporation CRA - Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture and becomes the Plant Pathology Research Centre with the acronym CRA-PAV.
Nevertheless, the Center is more deeply rooted in the tradition of Plant Pathology, as it originated from the Experimental Station for Plant Pathology founded in 1887, with the aim of providing Italy-South Centre of an institution similar to the one already existing in Pavia (Italian Cryptogamic Laboratory), capable of answering to the Ministry of Agriculture and farmers questions about the phytosanitary problems..
The first director was Prof. Giuseppe Cuboni (1857-1920) who directed the Royal Station from its inception (1887) to 1920. The Institute then took over the Station of Plant Pathology in Rome, the Italian Cryptogamic Laboratory of Pavia and Laboratory of Experimental Phytopathology of Turin, which are suppressed and whose assets are vested in the Institute.
It deals with the protection of agricultural and forestry plants against biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, viroids, phytoplasmas, etc..) and abiotic (physiological disorders, adverse climatic conditions) agents. It studies the plant-pathogen interaction, pathogens populations epidemiology and characterization by both traditional and biomolecular methods for disease control. It researches sources of genetic resistance and tolerance to pests to be applied to the development of resistent varieties / lines through the use of conventional and biotechnological methods. It studies the crops protection under conventional production methods, integrated and organic farming. It provides for the establishment of diagnostic methods useful in the prevention of diseases; it defines the techniques and methods of treatment which may minimize the occurrence of pesticide residues in foods and in the environment. It provides for the establishment of rehabilitation techniques for the production of propagation material certified pathogens free.
It brings together the skills of:
• Plant Pathology Research Institute - ISPAVE (Rome)
The Research Center for the study of relationships between plants and soil (C2) and the Plant Pathology Research Centre (C3) will be subsequently merged into a single Biology and Plant Physiology Center.
The Centre has a long tradition in some activities not purely for research but of fundamental importance to the agricultural world as the production of germplasm qualified and that meets the national and community phytosanitary requirements for vine, fruit, ornamental and hortive crops.
It plays an active part in the National Service of voluntary certification and is responsible for managing the Preservation Center for premultiplying of prunoidee, olive and walnut.
The Centre has decided also to operate, within organic farming, in the definition of the rules and effectiveness of some products included in the production specifications and it coordinates the Interregional Programme for the Qualitative Improvement of Agricultural Productions "Control of residual pesticides to rationalize the cultivation defence techniques. " The purpose of the latter is to check, in some of the most representative crops of the national agricultural scene, the amount of residues resulting from phytoiatric usual practices in fields and in preservation warehouses in order to identify possible causes of irregularity and to suggest corrective actions. This activity is carried out in full cooperation with the Regions and Autonomous Provinces.
Another qualifying activity of the Centre, in line with the desire to transfer the gained knowledge to the operating world, is the creation of computer databases that, over several years of activity and thanks to ad hoc funding, have made accessible to all the operators of the scientific and technical world information related to:
- collections of microorganisms of interest in agriculture and agro-industry;
- pesticides data bank, which contains information on active substances, commercial products and their proper use;
- data bank of products allowed in organic farming;
- data bank for the availability of germplasm of fruit trees, olive and walnut complying with phytosanitary regulations.
- The Centre also organizes conferences and participates in conferences and is responsible editor for the magazine Petria, quarterly journal of plant pathology.
In compliance with the spirit of goodwill and cooperation that characterizes it, the Centre performs analysis for the diagnosis of plant diseases on behalf of public institutions, phytosanitary products analysis and survey analysis of pesticides residues in organic farming. All these activities are carried out in laboratories officially qualified or with the approval of good laboratory practices in order to carry out registration directed trials.
Some laboratories have been accredited by MIPAAF as Essay Centre for the performing of field trials aimed at verifying the effectiveness of active ingredients for registration directed trials.
Finally, the Centre is the body adviser of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and participates in numerous committees related to plant pathology and pest management, including:
· Workgroup of the European Plant Protection Organization (EPPO);
· Workgroup EC;
· Committees at European level;
· Codex Alimentarius (FAO, WTO);
· MIPAAF and Ministry of Health scientific and technical committees;
· Workgroup MIPAAF
· International and regional committees.
The divulgation activity is very emphasized. Besides the research results publication through press, the Centre participates in the divulgation, training and teaching with classes and seminars at universities, specialist lectures in courses for the Regional Plant Protection Inspectors or refresher courses organized by both public and private corporations.
It houses at its headquarters, PhD and undergraduate students to conduct thesis and internships.
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