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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Project title: Promoting fruit tree cultivation though maintaining and organizing the field gene bank collection, creating parent plants for the production of certified propagating material and evaluating, exploiting and improving autochthonous cultivars.

Acronym: FruiTrees2Safeguard

Duration: 3 years (7/2018-6/2021)

Total budget: 710.000 euros

Co‐financed by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE (project code:Τ1EDK-05438).


Background and Aims of the project FruiTrees2Safeguard

Fruit tree cultivation is of great economic importance to Greek economy and most of the fresh and processed products are exported. The project “FruitTrees2Safeguard” aims to enrich and organize the field gene bank collections, create parent plants for the production of certified propagating material and evaluate, utilize and improve local cultivars.

Local cultivars are essential material for breeding since they contain unique gene combinations that ensure adaptability and productivity. The widespread establishment of foreign cultivars result in the loss of local cultivars. The aim of this proposal is to find, rescue, promote and exploit local cultivars of deciduous fruit trees, as well as to enrich and organize the ex-situ field gene bank collections located at the Departments of Deciduous Fruit (DDFT) and Nut Trees (NT) belonging to the Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources, HAO-DEMETER.

The DDFT has been assigned as authority for holding cultivars registered in the National Catalogue. In the present project they will able to organize and expand its collections, providing propagation material to nurseries, boosting our country’s economy. Moreover, the first participant company in the project is the nursery “Tsesmelis” which will be able to obtain certified budding sticks from the above collections and also produce and organize parent plants for patented cultivars for which they hold the proprietor rights.

The deciduous fruit tree cultivars widely cultivated are mostly of foreign origin and had not been previously evaluated for their local adaptability. Aim of the project will be to evaluate the agronomic and quality characteristics in 143 foreign and Greek cultivars of peach, nectarine, cherry, apple and pear, that are established in an experimental orchard.

Canning peach is a fruit of great economic importance for our country; however, production is based on 8 cultivars in which there are several mutations. Aim of this project will be to isolate mutations with improved characteristics, perform phenotypic and genotypic characterization and to create parental collections for obtaining budding sticks. The second participant company in the project is the canning association ‘DELKOF SA’, which represent a cluster of canning industries and will benefit from the availability of better quality fruit material to produce quality products and extend their operations.

Another aim of the project is to evaluate the resistance of local and foreign genotypes/cultivars to major diseases and identify molecular markers for the selection of superior genotypes/cultivars. Omics technologies will assist genetic breeding programs towards the resistance against fungal diseases and fruits quality features will be useful and cost-effective in genetic breeding programs. Disease-resistant cultivars that outweigh in qualitative characteristics would offer more profit to farmers due to the need for less inputs.

Finally, the aim of the project is to implement a schedule of knowledge diffusion to stakeholders and the scientific community.


Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources
Department of Deciduous Fruit Trees


Dr. Pavlina Drogoudi (coordinator),
Dr Thomas Sotiropoulos,
Dr Georgios Pantelidis,
Dr Antonios Zampounis.
Dr Ioannis Manthos,
Mr Konstantinos Kazantzis,


Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
School of Agriculture
Laboratory of Phytopathology

Web page:

Dr Varvara Maliogka,
Dr Nikolaos Katis,
Dr Asimina Katsiani,


Institute of Applied Bioscience
Web page:

Dr Panagiotis Madesis,


Lab. of Quality Control and Chemical Analyses
Hellenic Canned Fruit Industry Network
PO BOX5- Kopanos-Anthemia-Imathia Greece
GRE 590 35
Tel +30 23320 43237
Web page:

Constantinos Apostolou,
Dr Charis Danis,
Mrs  Olympia Apostolou


Plant Nursery TSESMELIS
Address: 7.5 Km road Veria-Naousa to Agios Georgios   GRE 590 35
Tel +30 23310 93344
Web page:

Mr Charis Tsesmelis



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