OLGENOME is a project proposed by the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), coordinated by the Research Centre for Olive, Fruit and Citrus crops, in collaboration with the Research Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics, and with the specialist support of IGA Technology Services.
CREA is a public research institution controlled by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food, and Forestry Policies.
For further information, you can refer to the institutional website.
The Research Centre for Olive, Fruit, and Citrus Crops is one of the 12 CREA centers: it deals with tree cultivations such as fruit, citrus and olive trees. It conducts research devoted to the supply chain improvement, to develop genetic improvement technologies, for the propagation, the sustainability of the production and the fruits quality, and by-products promotion. The priorities of the centre also include conservation measures, as well as characterization and promotion of fruits, citrus and olive trees collections.
At the Rende (CS) headquarters, the scientific and technical CREA staff deals with the whole olive growing-oil production process, from cultivation to oil production, involving both table olives and by-products, including food safety activities, whose most relevant topics are the raw materials production sectors, processing technologies, quality, traceability, genetic improvement, physiology and biology of the defensive systems. The Olive, Fruit, Citrus fruit-growing CREA manages, in agreement with ARSAC, the field-collection of Mirto Crosia (CS), representing, as well as the one located in Cordoba, one of the biggest in the world, showing the greatest number of both Italian and foreign varieties. It has access to suitable research laboratories and scientific equipment (microscopes, laminar flow hoods, fume hoods, bacteria growth chambers, autoclaves, three PCR machines, Real Time PCR, horizontal electrophoresis cell systems, an electrophoretic digital image acquisition system (GelDoc), and capillary electrophoresis instrumentation (BioAnalyzer 2100 Agilent) for Molecular Biology research activity.
Moreover, the chemistry laboratories are equipped with instruments such as gas chromatographs, HPLC, mass spectrometers API 4000q TRAP, spectrophotometers, ICP-MS and MALDI TOF TOF. A greenhouse for olive plants propagation and controlled growth is also available, as well as laboratory equipped with growth chambers and suitable for in vitro propagation.
Moreover, weather huts are available, as well as instruments for field trials (tractors, atomizers, etc) and two shakers, including a self-propelled machine, for olives mechanical harvesting.
The Research Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics can count on recognised scientific skills in the Bioinformatics and Genomics context. The centre carried out research aimed to study plant responses to both biotic and abiotic stresses, to identify QTLs at the root of important agronomic characters, to map genes through positional cloning and to create physical maps and reference sequences of common and durum wheat. The ‘Molecular Biology and Genomics’ laboratory of the centre is complete with basic equipment, robotic systems to extract nucleic acids and molecular biology analysis preparation, thermocyclers, a 16-capillary sequencer, as well as different qPCR and HMR-PCR systems.
The Centre is also able to run molecular analyses through new ‘Next Generation Sequencing’ instrumentation, in order to perform a high-processivity sequencing, and can count on a research group specifically devoted to Bioinformatics. At the centre, infrastructures for plant phenotyping under controlled conditions (greenhouse, chambers) are also available, but can be performed in open field as well through the use of instrumentation to measure gas exchanges (photosynthetic activity) and to analyse spectral reflectance. Through an experimental farm completely equipped for cereal growing research, the centre can also carry out field tests using different experimental designs to test the developed materials. Lastly, the centre is provided with an important barley germplasm collection, including mutant varieties, wild-type accessions and other species of the genus Hordeum, as well as a relevant accession collection of both cultivated and wild oats and primary and secondary triticales.