The Italian peninsula has an ancient history for vegetable growing and production and it has expressed during the time great diversity in term of species, types and cultivars utilized. This great agrodiversity support the great richness of traditional foods which render very famous Italian foods. Besides, are widespread in several Italian regions many wild species, often representing crop relatives which are either gathered or cultivated, that make up the rich vegetable resources of the peninsula, such as Cynara spp., Foeniculum vulgare spp., Asparagus spp., but many other wild species are occasionally cultivated (Bianco, 1989, Branca, 2000). In this frame Sicily, which represent the largest Italian region, traversed in turn by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Arabs, Normans, Spaniards and French, show a long history which is reflected also by its wide horticultural diversity. The ancient past of the island and its mild winter climate conditions have consented the establishement of a great number of vegetables species grown under various environmental, agronomical, economical and social contexts, including home gardens and peri-urban farms. The great vegetable diversity widespread in Sicily provide important ingredients of the well known Sicilian cuisine which remain linked to particular areas and traditional local events and customs. Some districts, such as Catania one with the slopes of M.te Etna, are very special sites based on a combination of specific soils and temperature conditions as well as of its historical and ethnic anthropology. In this context, vegetable crops show unique traits and characteristics as a consequence of particular growing methods and special culinary uses. The mild climate conditions along this part of the east coast of Sicily, characterized by high temperature and radiation value but with great fluctation, contributed to establish the great diversity of vegetables utilized in Sicily which represents a special genetic patrimony and world resource (Viani, 1926; La Malfa and Bianco, 2006; Tribulato et al., 2007). Special mention is addressed to Brassica crops, which includes several vegetable ones of Brassica oleracea L. and several industrial ones, counts several wild relatives in the Mediterranean region where various species of wild taxa occur (Snogerup et al., 1990). According to literature the main diversification center of the Brassica genus is the Mediterranean region, in particular in Sicily, where the cytodeme is represented by the several Brassica wild relatives. Mediterranean basin with its climate conditions has been historically considered as a special genetic patrimony of germplasm for many vegetable crops and their wild relatives especially for Brassica genus (Branca and Iapichino, 1997; Branca and Cartea, 2011), and for its several landraces, grown mostly in urban and suburban vegetable gardens, and self-propagated by the growers (King, 2003). Because of the mentioned geographical and anthropological peculiarities, a number of different agroecosystems are present, which reflect different cropping and cooking traditions (Negri et al., 2008). Recently, high antioxidant properties were found in Brassica landraces and wild species (n=9). The use of Sicilian broccoli landraces and wild relative species in breeding allowed to obtain new genotypes high levels of glucosinolates (Branca et al., 2002; Mithen et al., 2003) or for the wild population of B. macrocarpa its validation to use its leaves biomass to control root-knot of vegetable crops (Argento et al., 2013). In this frame will be illustrated our work in progress in view to exploit wild and growing Mediterranean germplasm in view to support the innovation of the environmental friendly agriculture chains improving the quality of life.
|Titolo:||In Progress Activities for Exploiting Italian Germplasm of Interest for Innovating Vegetable Production Chains|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|