GenTree (Horizon 2020)
The goal of GenTree is to provide the European forestry sector with better knowledge, methods and tools for optimising the management and sustainable use of forest genetic resources (FGR) in Europe in the context of climate change and continuously evolving demands for forest products and services.
To reach its goal, GenTree will make scientific, technological and implementation breakthroughs in:
- designing innovative strategies for dynamic conservation of FGR in European forests
- broadening the range of FGR used by European breeding programmes
- preparing new forest management scenarios and policy frameworks fully integrating genetic conservation and breeding aspects, to adapt forests and forestry to changing environmental conditions and societal demands.
GenTree focuses on economically and ecologically important tree species in Europe, growing in a wide range of habitats and covering different societal uses and values.
WatBio (European Framework 7)
The overall purpose of WATBIO is to increase the efficiency of plant breeding to provide improved biomass crops suitable for growing on drought-stressed marginal lands. WATBIO is developing improved plant varieties suited to water-stressed environments in three non-food biomass crop species: poplar (Populus spp.); a C4 grass (Miscanthus spp.) and arundo (Arundo donax L.) which is a C3 grass of considerable potential but as yet, hardly developed.
WATBIO supports breeding with advanced molecular genetics, particularly using next generation sequencing approaches (to generate and measure allelic diversity) and molecular phenotyping. RNA-Seq will be used for the first time in two of the three species to increase the efficiency of their breeding programmes.
Developing drought tolerant crops is difficult. There is a trade-off between protecting soil water and maximising crop growth. The optimum strategy for biomass production and water conservation varies depending on the species and region. For example, in miscanthus, the ability to survive intense drought is important, and is likely to become more important with climate change. In all species, the ability to grow relatively well under mild stress is important in water stressed environments. Specifically, WATBIO aims to:
- provide a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms determining drought tolerance;
- provide a database of ‘water stress response’ trait information with a modelling capability;
- support innovative molecular breeding/genetic optimisation;
- deploy GM technologies to test importance of single genes for drought tolerance;
- assess the performance of the new crop plants in the field;
- train multidisciplinary non-food crop bioscientists and technologists;
- maximise the impact of the project by enabling users shape the project and through commercial exploitation and dissemination; and develop and exploit synergy with other relevant research projects.
DISCO (European Framework 7)
Plant natural products have been utilized by human civilization for millennia, providing vital medicines and essential dietary components. More recently bioactive compounds from plant sources have been used in cosmetics, as health supplements and are important components of feedstuffs. Despite significant investments new activities and new sustainable biosources are required to reduce or eliminate chemical refining and thus environmental impact.
Against this backdrop, DISCO aims to understand plant biosynthetic pathways involved in the formation of high-value plant products and develop new tools for metabolic engineering and molecular breeding to generate new biosources of bioactive and industrial phytochemicals. DISCO is funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP7) with a total budget of 6.5 million euros.
D.NAMICA - Platform for molecular and personalized medicine (2012-2015)
D.NAMICA aims to develop a prototype platform for integration and implementation of NGS genomics data into routine clinical care by providing clinical investigators with the software tools necessary to collect and manage clinical “-omics” data, thus developing a clinical-biomolecular electronic medical record that supports clinicians in providing personalized care.
Project implements three pilot projects to help research activities to better understand the genetic characteristics of patients and their answers to personalized treatment in the following sectors: cardiology (DCM - dilatative cardiomyopathy), oncology (HCC - Hepatocellular carcinoma) and neurodegenerative diseases (SMA - Spinal muscular atrophy).
D.NAMICA is cofunded by ERDF - European Regional Development Fund - Friuli Venezia Giulia Region Operational Programme 2007 - 2013.
eHealth2patient – E-Health platform for molecular medicine and personalized patient care (2015-2018)
Genomics, transcriptomics and clinical proteomics: observing the human body as a dynamic system of molecular interactions.
The goal of the project is to develop a model that integrates clinical and biomolecular data in order to support medical staff in personalized patient care. More accurate identification of biological response patterns in different states of disease in the individual patient opens new perspectives of applied research for more personalized therapy. For this we need to create an accurate informatics model that integrates clinical information (including the effect of drugs) with ‘omics’ data in order to capture dynamics of the system transitioning from health to disease and vice versa. From a clinical point of view, an implementation of such model has a great potential in management and treatment of human health.
Project is cofounded by Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research
AGRI-MET – NGS-based diagnostic assay for the identification of grape microbial communities (1/2015-1/2016)
The introduction of Next-Gen Sequencing allowed large scale analysis of microbial communities and revolutionized microbial metagenomics permitting more sensitive description of diverse communities. The goal of the project is the development of new rapid and highly sensitive tests for the simultaneous diagnosis of pathogenic microorganisms (fungi/viruses/bacteria) at low cost, in grapevine and other species of agricultural interest, such as citrus and olive. An accurate and early genomic monitoring gives a possibility of targeted interventions, preventing the loss of plants and the spread of disease. The project is developed in partnership with Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo, worldwide leader in the grapevine nursery business.
Project is cofunded by FVG Regional Funds for SME
BioWine - multidisciplinary approach to improve the quality of wine production (2012 – 2013)
The project aims to enhance the Sicilian regional viticulture and wine production through the transcriptome study of at least two cultivars of V. vinifera, Nero d'Avola and Nerello Mascalese. We intend to analyze how different environments change grapevine expression profiles in an attempt to promote organoleptic expression and increase nutraceutical characteristics of the final product. Obtained data will be shared and integrated with those produced by other international initiatives.
Project is cofunded by ERDF - European Regional Development Fund - Sicilia Region Operational Programme 2007 - 2013
IT-CitrusGenomics - functional genomics, genetic improvement and innovation for the development of the citrus industry products (2010 – 2013)
Demands of sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture, as well as the challenges posed by global competition urge national citrus cultivation to change traditional agricultural practices. Taking this into account the project aims to resequence the three primary species of citrus fruits (citron, pummelo and mandarin) and at least 25 genotypes of citrus accessions with phenotypic differences related to the color, the size of the fruit, the seedless, the vesting period and the anthocyanin content. In addition, we intend to identify polymorphisms for the varietal characterization and traceability in 400 accessions of citrus.
Project is cofunded by Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research and European Social Fund within the National Operational Programme