Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA); Consiglio Nazionale Ricerche (CNR); Ecole Nazionale Supérieure Agronomique – ENSA (Algeria); Université Freres Mentouri Constantine 1 – UFMC1 (Algeria); Agricultural Research Center – ARC (Egitto); Centre de Recerca en Agrigenòmica CSIC-IRTA-UAB-CRAG (Barcellona); Institut national de la Recherche agronomique (Francia); HAO-DEMETER, Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources, Dep of Deciduous Fruit Trees – IPB & GR (Grecia); Hellenic Agricultural Organisation – DEMETER, Institute of Olive Trees, Subtropical Crops and Viticulture – IOSV ( Grecia); Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique – INRA Morocco (Marocco); Institut de l’olivier – IO (Tunisia); Cucurova University – CU (Turchia)
FREECLIMB is a 3-yearscollaborative project coordinated by the University of Milan (Italy) and built to match the PRIMA framework (http://prima-med.org/), which promotes the development of smart agricultural systems and sustainable in the Mediterranean to preserve natural resources and increase production efficiency. The project involves 15 partners from the northern and southern Mediterranean countries and 6 different fruit tree species. The crucial objective of the project is the widening of the availability of germplasms and breeding materials and the revaluation of local varieties resilient with respect to the future climate scenarios foreseen for the Mediterranean area. The project will focus on the development of key varietal ideotypes developed in collaboration with interested parties (breeder, nursery owners, producers, distributors) with the aim of providing a range of tools capable of accelerating the creation, identification and exploitation of resilient varieties for crops of historical and strategic importance in the Mediterranean: grape, olive, citrus, peach, apricot and almond.
To these ends, the project will pursue important objectives:
- the characterization, exploitation and selection of varieties adapted to a range of agro-ecological and management conditions;
- the dissection of the genetic bases of traits linked to sustainability and plant resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses, with focus on the interaction with the environment and management;
- the study of the molecular, biochemical and physiological basis of plant adaptation to different environmental conditions and to biotic/abiotic stresses;
- the increase of the efficiency of selection methods, through the development and application of genomics tools;
- the transfer of project results through training and dissemination activities dedicated especially to breeders (focusing on young scientists), nurserymen; growers and stakeholders, particularly in those countries where fruit production is less developed.
FREECLIMB will greatly benefit from the collaboration between the southern and northern shores of the Mediterranean Basin.