Enhancement and conservation of Mediterranean native fruit tree species genotypes

Clonal and sanitary selection of Mediterranean native fruit tree germplasm; development of innovative techniques for the production and conservation of ‘healthy’ propagating material.

Clonal and sanitary selection is carried out in the main growing areas of the target species and is a stepwise procedure including field morphopomological and sanitary visual checks; laboratory  trueness-to-type and sanitary checks; maintenance of candidate clones; sanitation of infected genotypes if necessary; biological indexing to complete sanitary assessment; trueness-to-type checks after sanitation.

More often, given the wide distribution of viruses in natural conditions, it is necessary to clean up the selected fruit tree accessions in the laboratory. As a result this research area is intended to develop/improve the best in vitro sanitation techniques (i.e. somatic embryogenesis, cryoconservation) and thermotherapy  and to standardise and validate their application in other Mediterranean laboratories  (e.g. Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia).

Research efforts are also focussed on the identification of effective and rational solutions for in vitro and in vivo conservation of sanitised genotypes. Conservation methods are defined based on greenhouse and laboratory trials (in vitro culture) by using self-rooted or grafted microcuttings in containers and plant material for the establishment of in vitro culture.

Through its research networks and  closely liaising with other  national and Mediterranean partners, the IPM Division has tried to draw up and harmonize  the technical protocols  which shall guarantee the appropriate health status  and trueness-to-type of the certified fruit tree propagating material, also taking into account the need for developing safe and reliable methods for checking which are  simple and inexpensive.


Starting: 1.01.1986
Scheduled ending: 31.12.2015
Real ending: 23.09.2019
Reference person/s: D'Onghia Anna Maria / Digiaro Michele / Djelouah Khaled /
Collaborators: El Beaino Toufic / Fanelli Antonio / Frasheri Dajana /
Thesis: Sanitary assessment of olive candidate clones for the certification program of plant propagation material in Tunisia
Biological approaches to the control of olive Verticillium wilt in the nursery
Effect of bacterial and fungal antagonists on the growth of olive plantlets and on the inoculum density of Verticillium dahliae Kleb. microsclerotia in the nursery
Compost use in organic media production for growing citrus rootstocks in container
Improvement of protocols for citrus psorosis virus (CPsV) elimination and in-vitro virus conservation
Biological control of phytophthora nicotianae and organic media standardization in citrus nurseries
Preliminary study on organic citrus nursery management
Institutions involved: Centro di Ricerca e Sperimentazione in Agricoltura “Basile Caramia”, Locorotondo
Centro di ricerca per l’agrumicoltura e le colture mediterranee - Acireale (CT) (Italia)
Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute (LARI)
Università degli Studi di Bari
Università degli Studi di Perugia
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