INCREASE – Intelligent Collections of Food Legumes Genetic Resources for European Agrofood Systems

ISEA SRL is a Research & Development company, which has been performing experimental activities, evaluation and seed multiplication on plant varieties for many years. ISEA SRL is specialised in plant breeding, carried out through programmes aimed at the obtainment of new improved lines. This is possible thanks to the ever-increasing scientific knowledge available about the genomics of traits of interest in plants, which allows to exploit techniques like the marker assisted selection (MAS). The activities are structured in a series of projects, which aim at the selection of stable lines, under the productive and qualitative point of view.

The continuous research of new plant varieties, with improved traits, has always been the main goal of the company. Besides the classic pedigree breeding method, which consists of making crosses and the subsequent selection on the progenies in field, ISEA has recently equipped itself with custom growing chambers, designed to fasten the selection process through the Single Seed Descent method.

The work of the company is centred on different groups of plant species, in particular cereals (soft and durum wheat, barley, triticale, oat, spelts), legumes (faba bean, lupin, chickpea, lentil, protein pea) and oily crops (sunflower, safflower). In all the investigated species, the aim is to improve productivity, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and qualitative traits (technological and nutritional ones). In recent years, a lot of energy has been invested in the selection of varieties suitable for the environmental scenarios that will arise in the near future. With the overcoming climate change and increasing world population, hardy and sustainable varieties will be the main focus.

Role within INCREASE

As a breeding company, the main task of ISEA SRL in the project will be carrying out field trials with the available genetic materials. During these trials, as much data as possible will be collected in order to achieve the phenotype characterisation of the lines. This includes the collaboration of ISEA SRL in high throughput and molecular phenotyping, as well as in the study of nutritional and technological traits. ISEA SRL also participates in the definition of phenotypic traits for inclusive rating scales, using ontologies and controlled vocabularies.

Main contacts

Photo of Sofia Ghitarrini PhD
Sofia Ghitarrini PhD
Responsible for R&D activities on leguminous species