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Modelli di selezione vegetale e di tecniche agronomiche adatti alle condizioni pedo-climatiche locali (LIFE SEMENte parTEcipata)
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Sep 30, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background The current system of breeding, testing and selecting wheat varieties is carried out in controlled environments that consume large amounts of energy. A new and evolutionary participatory breeding method offers opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of wheat breeding, testing and selecting processes. This innovative approach emphasises the use of ‘natural selection’ principles in combination with site-specific farm selection techniques. The application of such an evolutionary breeding method involves less energy inputs that can have positive economic and environmental impacts. Objectives The main aim of the LIFE SEMENte parTEcipata project centres on improving the resource-efficiency of commercial plant breeding activities. It will create and maintain a composite cross population of durum wheat germplasm (Triticum turgidum subsp durum L.) and other species of the genus Triticum using a novel and evolutionary genetic improvement technology that promotes agro-systems that are more resistant to climate change. The objectives will be achieved by the following actions: the identification of a low input agronomic system, through crop rotation, to optimise evolutionary change within the gene pool, in order to stabilise production over time and ensure soil fertility that benefits the environment; the conservation of durum wheat germplasm (Triticum turgidum subsp durum L.) and other species of the genus Triticum such as polonicum, turanicum, dicoccum, from germplasm banks in the region of Sicily, and from collections of old varieties required by both national and international germplasm banks; the identification of lines and accessions through the evaluation of germplasm in different locations (Tuscany, Sicily, Marche) that are suitable for organic cultivation in the areas tested; the establishment of a gene pool to be allocated to evolutionary breeding through the union of possible F1 individuals (from generations of crosses) obtained by diallellic crosses between the lines identified in the germplasm considered; the attainment of improved gene pools, suitable for cultivation in the considered areas, and the production of new varieties that are selected by involving farmers (participatory breeding). Expected results: Anticipated results from the project include: Germplasm collection evaluated and characterised; A multiline population adapted to localised soil characteristics and climatic conditions; Technical guide to reasonable cultivation in an organic system that can be extended to a integrated and conventional system; Awareness raising and training for farmers to obtain the skills to maintain and improve the wheat germplasm; Durum wheat products with improved nutraceutical quality; and Availability of a wide assortment of multiline varieties adapted to cultivation environments.
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