Institute of Biosciences and BioResources - National Research Council

The Institute of Biosciences and BioResources (IBBR) is one of the 107 institutes belonging to the National Research Council (CNR), the most important Italian research institution. The IBBR headquarter is located in Bari (Apulia, Italy) and has 5 different Divisions spread over the national territory: Florence, Naples, Palermo, Perugia and Portici.

The Palermo Division is strongly connected to the regional productive system, working actively with local enterprises within the main agricultural sectors (e.g. grapevine, citrus and olive industry), in order to promote the technological innovation. It is also concretely involved in in-vivo and in-vitro plant germplasm conservation of rare and threatened species of agricultural and naturalistic concern.

The research activity of the Division of Palermo is currently oriented to the following topics:

  • Genome analysis for crops and wild species, aimed to the identification of genes associated to traits of interest
  • Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics for de novo assembly of genomes and transcriptomes, aimed at identifying new molecular markers and promoting studies on differential expression
  • Genetic improvement by traditional and biotechnological approaches
  • Molecular analysis of senescence and apoptosis
  • Characterization and conservation of plant genetic diversity
  • Development and use of genetically encoded sensors for in-vivo metabolite quantification
  • Tissue culture for sanitation from virus and bacteria through somatic embryogenesis
  • Pathogen diagnosis of crops and wild species by traditional and innovative methodologies
  • Development of new Citrus rootstocks, varieties and genotypes for agricultural and ornamental purposes
  • Molecular analysis of plant response to heavy metals
  • Role of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS) in biotic and abiotic stress
  • Management of germplasm banks for grapevine, olive and Citrus spp.

Regional Department of Environment - Sicilian Region

The Department of Environment (DRA) is one of the regional departments belonging to the Regional Ministry of the Territory and Environment and is in charge of the following activities:

  • Water and waste planning and governance
  • Land planning and soil protection
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact
  • Protection against pollution
  • Protection of the natural heritage
  • Supervision through sector Bodies (e.g. Park Authorities and ARPA)
  • Planning and coordination of environmental strategies
  • Application and management of EC projects
  • Planning, management and control of Protected Nature Areas (Parks, Reserves and Natura 2000 sites) and related interventions financed by regional, national and EC funds
  • Drawing of computerized cartography to support the territorial planning of Protected Nature Areas
  • Promotion of the naturalistic values, the natural heritage and the regional system of Protected Areas.

With regard to the protection of biodiversity, the Sicilian Region implemented the Regional Network of Natura 2000 sites. A total of 238 sites were involved, including 208 SCI, 15 SAC and 15 areas that are at the same time SCI and SAC, with an overall surface of about 450,000 ha (about 18% of the regional territory).

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