The total area occupied by the Centre is approximately 66 hectares, all contiguous. The oldest part is known as parcel ‘Fiorano 1’ which occupies just over 19 hectares, to which were added over time the parcel ‘Fiorano 2’, about 16 hectares, and the parcel ‘RGV-FAO’ just over 30 hectares.
In all three plots the following species are cultivated (in brackets the percentage of the surface): kiwi (3.89%), apricot (3.28%), cherry (4.65%), peach (19:22%), plum (3.30%); apple (3.90%), pear (5.33%), almond (0.61%), hazelnut (1.22%), walnut (0.15%), pecan (0.61%), pistachio (0.46%), blueberry (0.46%), sea buckthorn (1.17%), raspberry (0.21%); fejioia (0.46%), grapes (0.76%). There are also a nursery (0.46%), greenhouses and shade (0.61%). The rest is made up of laboratories and offices, and soil set to rest.
In vitro culture and propagation
Genetics and Molecular Biology
The Biology group at CRA FRU focuses on studies aimed at the nutraceutical characterization of plant matrices. Specifically it conducts research and experimentation aimed at determining and evaluating the nutritional characteristics of the fruit of commercial and old varieties - both indigenous and foreign sources - stone fruit, pome fruit, berries, kiwi, pomegranate and fruit in general.
In particular, the laboratory carries out investigations aimed at the determination and the identification of quail-quantitative characteristics of the following classes of compounds with manifest antioxidant and nutraceutical properties:
- most important organic acids and soluble solids by spectrophotometric and fluorimetric methods;
- total polyphenols, total anthocyanins, chlorophylls and total carotenoids with spectrophotometric and fluorimetric methods;
- Vitamin C and individual phenolic compounds (idrossinnamici acids, flavan-3oli, flavonols, anthocyanins, etc..) by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Molecular and phenotypic characterization of phytopathogenic bacteria of agricultural crops with particular reference to fruit trees. Development of protocols for early detection of pathogenic bacteria in the propagation material.
Development of defense strategies in place to control bacterial pathogens of fruit crops.
Epidemiological studies related phytopathogenic bacteria of interest-bearing
Studies on predators and parasitoids.
Orchard’s spider mites, entomopathogenic nematodes, hymenopterous parasitoids.
Managing Crisopidi Neuroptera (key predators) in an agroecosystem with a chemical attractant: Fenilacetaldeide.
Research in organic fruit orchards compared with conventional
Use of products allowed by the EU regulation for organic production: laboratory bioassays to validate the effectiveness of different bioinsecticides in the fight against Ceratitis capitata in the open field and transfer of best results. Containment of the main pests of fruit with the application of techniques having a low environmental impact
Varietal studies for the identification of cultivars less susceptible to attack by pests, to set up a list usable by the operators in this area.
Study of the aromas to some in relation to attraction towards carpofagi.
Research on quality of organic fruits compared with conventional ones.
Identification of useful markers for the "traceability” of biological ones.
Quality studies to determine whether any differences are due to different growing techniques.
Identification of markers for the traceability of pesticide residues in organic and conventional fruits through the use of arthropod pests.
In vitro cultures
Caulogenesi form axillary bud and adventitious root for the development of micropropagation protocols and characterization of physiological, biochemical and molecular processes.
Caulogenesi adventitia from adult tissue with the use of regenerative systems designed for the exploitation of somaclonal variation and genetic recombination for the genetic improvement.
Conservation of germplasm for the preservation of biodiversity of fruit species, using "slow - growth" and cryopreservation and molecular characterization of the processes and genetic stability
Application of in vitro culture for the production and study of secondary metabolites
Were formed over 160 different species of fruit cultivars: apricot, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, apple, Japanese medlar, pear, peach and nectarine, plum (variety and rootstock), table grapes.
Several of these cultivars have had and have a significant importance for the Italian fruit-growing and widespread international (Strawberry Sugar Lia, Addie, Paros, Cesena, Queen Elisa, Wave, raspberry: Erica apple: Summerfree, Golden Orange Forlady, but : Early in Fiorano, Tosca, Carmen; peach: Rome Star, Tirrenia, Rome, Sagittaria, Kalos 4, 3 UFO, UFO 4; nectarines: Weinberger, Nectaross, Venus, Orion, Alitop; plum tree (rootstock): Penta, Tetra; table grapes: Matilde).
The present activity is mainly carried out on kiwifruit, for the production of new female selections with yellow and green flesh, peach trees for the production of new types of fruit with low acidity and red, raspberry, for the production of new varieties.
The group's activities are directed to the study of the genome of the fruit tree species with special reference to peach, considered to be the model for the Rosaceae family.
In particular, the group in recent years has been involved in structural analysis of the genome and the study of variability within the germplasm of peach trees in order to identify useful alleles in the activity of genetic improvement. The study includes the identification of molecular markers, their localization in association maps and their correlation with characters that are of agronomic importance such as disease resistance and quality of the fruit. Recently the group has coordinated the Italian participation to the international genome sequencing of peach (IPGI). As part of this initiative we were also involved in the molecular characterization using next generation sequencing (NGS) of 36 accessions of Prunus allowing the identification of about 1 million SNP markers distributed throughout the genome. Currently the goal is to identify a direct correlation between phenotype and genotype, i.e. to establish how the sequence differences between individuals are translated into different phenotypes observed among individuals of the same species.