Department of Deciduous Fruit Trees

Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources

Directorate General of Agricultural Research
Hellenic Agricultural Organization DEMETER

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The Department of Deciduous Fruit Trees (DDFT) is a non-profit research organisation with the scope to develop applied research in all deciduous fruit tree cultures.

It belongs to the Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources (IPBGR) having its headquarters in Thermi-Thessaloniki and the Hellenic Agricultural Organization – ‘DΙMITRA’ (ELGO-DIMITRA) with headquarters in Athens. DDFT commenced its activities in 1961.

Its former name, until 2014, was ‘Pomology Institute’ and was integrated, until 2011, into the National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF).

Principal aim of research is the conservation, evaluation and utilisation of local genetic resources and the development of new cultivars with improved yield, fruit quality and adaptation characteristics. The DDFT contain in premises a large selection of local and foreign cultivars. Moreover research is directed to modern cultivation systems with the aim of integrating production system in a sustainable manner.

The areas of principle research interest today are:
The development and valorisation of improved deciduous fruit tree cultivars and rootstocks
Cultivars and rootstocks coming from abroad or local cultivars are phenotyped for various characteristics such as pack-out yield, flowering, fruit maturity, fruit quality characteristics, resistant to diseases, cold and unfavourable soil-climatic conditions.
Improvement of cultivation systems
In the frame of research projects experiments with the aim to improve the cultivation methods, fertilization-nutrition, compacting disease and pests, postharvest treatments, limiting frost damages and others are pursued.
Breeding for new cultivars with improved characteristics
Breeding programs aim at the development of cherry, apple and apricot cultivars with resistance to diseases and improved agronomical characteristics.
Conservation of fruit tree genetic resources
A large number of peach, nectarine, apricot, cherry, apple, pear and pomegranate landraces/cultivars are conserved.
Other activities
  • Provide technical support to farmers, cooperatives, municipalities etc.
  • Organise various educational activities (seminars, symposia, conferences, e.t.c.).
  • Participate in working groups in national and international organisations.
  • Publish various