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From field to orchard: wild sweet chestnut populations and marron characteristics and adaptability to stress - HRZZ project

Project leader:
Marilena Idžojtić, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Forestry, Svetošimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia (e-mail: midzojtic@sumfak.hr)

Financed by:
Croatian Science Foundation (www.hrzz.hr)

Scientific field:
Biotechnology, Natural Sciences

Collaborating Institutions:

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Forestry, Zagreb, Croatia (www.sumfak.unizg.hr)

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Zagreb (https://www.pmf.unizg.hr/)

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Zagreb (http://www.pbf.unizg.hr/)

Project duration:
15/10/2018 – 15/10/2022

 

Project Main Objectives

The main goal of this research is to reveal: (1) neutral and adaptive variability in sweet chestnut natural populations from different environmental habitats in Croatia; (2) associations between genetic structure, morphological variation, chemical variation and environmental differences (climatic and soil) in sweet chestnut natural populations; (3) sweet chestnut seed quality and germination requirements; (4) genetic basis of variation for adaptive traits on seedlings reared in greenhouse; (5) genetic basis of variation for adaptive traits on seedlings reared in reciprocal transplant experiments; (6) epigenetic responses to drought stress; (7) tolerance of selected genotypes to pathogens; (8) resistance to pathogens on seedlings reared in nursery; (9) associations between population genetic approach and greenhouse and reciprocal transplant experiments; (10) continuation of long term monitoring of C. parasitica populations; (11) neutral and adaptive variability in Croatian sweet chestnut cultivars; (12) differences in fruit and leaf morphology and chemical composition of fruits between Croatian chestnut cultivars; (13) associations between genetic, morphological variation, chemical variation and environmental differences (climatic and soil) in chestnut cultivars; (14) delineation of seed zones and definition of seed transfer guidelines for Croatian chestnut populations.

Aside from contribution to the basic scientific knowledge on molecular biology and ecology of sweet chestnut, the results of this project will contribute to the development of sustainable management of sweet chestnut in Croatia. Based on the results from this research, we will delineate seed zones and define seed transfer guidelines, which will provide operational, effective criteria, methods, guidelines, and recommendations helping in the optimal management of Croatian sweet chestnut stands. Furthermore, from Croatian natural sweet chestnut populations, genotypes tolerant to abiotic stress, i.e. drought, will be selected. The genotypes with higher tolerance to biotic stress, i.e. infection with C. parasitica, will be selected as well. Additionally, results from this project will contribute directly to the protection of geographic origin of the autochthonous marron cultivars, which is very important for the local population in the Lovran area, Istria and island Cres, but for Croatia as well

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