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The Symposium aims to increase the knowledge on protocols and techniques adopted in breeding programs or in progress worldwide, both in public institutions or in private companies of various countries; improve relationships among scientists and stakeholders and help the diffusion of new cultivars and rootstocks within the nuts and Mediterranean climate fruit industry, from nurseries to farmers; provide insights on recently developed sustainable horticultural practices to growers associations, cooperatives, fruit industry managers; and contribute to a wide range of issues from delivering new strategies for developing private and public breeding programs to the intellectual tools for the inclusion of concepts related to sustainable horticultural managements in higher education courses.
The growing demand of edible fruits and nuts in the global market needs to be satisfied through a sustainable process. This implies an increase in fruit tree crop efficiency. Nowadays, our main goal is to produce more with less, particularly reducing the use of not renewable resources. Among the strategies to reach our goal, plant breeding is one of the most ancient human-being activities. For centuries the technique of choosing parents, crossing them and selecting the best promising seedlings respect to desired traits has been an activity carried out worldwide in order to improve the horticultural performances of cultivars and rootstocks.
Even today, the majority of new varieties and rootstocks that are released in the global market and propagated in the nursery industry arise from breeding program. Everyday scientists challenge the need to increase knowledge on strategies and techniques aimed at reducing the time that elapse from crossing parental plants to the releasing of a new cultivar/scion rootstock. Beside, despite biotechnologies can help, today the majority of new genotypes are still obtained by using traditional techniques of breeding.
In the near future, intensive fruit industry cannot avoid facing the problem of water shortage, nutrients leaching and soil erosion. Orchard water and nutrient demand depend on orchard design (plant density, tree shape, pruning criteria etc.), soil management, disease control, which, in turn affects light interception, photosynthesis tree dry matter accumulation and partition to fruits.
Another major theme of the Symposium will be related to the advancements on precision horticulture practices at orchard, tree and fruit scale, by the use of sensors for monitoring tree vegetative and fruit growth, water and nutrient status.
Scientific contributes on the mechanization/use of robots for fruit harvest and tree pruning of "Nuts and Mediterranean climate fruits” will be very welcome in this symposium.
Species that will be the object of the symposium are Nuts (Almond, Cashew, Chestnut, Hazelnut, Pecan and other Carya spp., Pistachio, Walnut); Olive, Carob, Fig, Pomegranate, Prickly pear and minor Mediterranean fruit trees. The major issues related to these species are:
- Role and use of biodiversity in breeding programs
- Biotechnologies as tool for breeding, selection and vegetative propagation of new genotypes
- Innovative orchard management systems
- Sustainable orchard design and management (including pest and disease control)
- Aydın Uzun (Erciyes University, TURKEY)
- Bekir Erol Ak (Harran University, TURKEY)
- Bilge Yılmaz (Çukurova University, TURKEY)
- Bruce Lampinen (University of California Davis, USA)
- Boris Basile (Università Federico II, ITALY)
- Chiara Cirillo (Università Federico II, ITALY)
- Emmanouil Kabourakis (NAGREF, GREECE)
- Emre Bilen (AHCRE, TURKEY)
- Georgios Koubouris, (NAGREF, GREECE)
- Maciej Zwieniecki (University of California Davis, USA)
- Messaud Mars (University of Sousse, TUNISIA)
- Mostafa Qrunfleh (University of Jordan, JORDAN)
- Roberto Botta (Università di Torino, ITALY)
- Sergio Tombesi (Università di Piacenza, ITALY)
- Ümit Serdar (Ondokuz Mayıs University, TURKEY)