Aliki Kapazoglou is a Researcher at the Hellenic Agricultural Organization-Demeter, Institute of Olive Tree, Subtropical Crops and Viticulture, Department of Vitis, Lykovryssi, Athens, Greece. She received a PhD degree in Biochemistry from the Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Department of the University of Georgia, Athens Georgia, USA. She held Post-Doctoral and Research Fellow posts on plant molecular biology at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK, at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK, the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London, UK, and at the Institute of Applied Biosciences (INAB), Centre of Research and Technology (CERTH), in Thessaloniki, Greece. Her research interests include genetic and epigenetic mechanisms governing plant development and abiotic and biotic stress responses, preservation of local genetic resources, molecular traceability of plants species and their products. She has publications in international scientific journals (SCI) and book chapters (i-index 13, >600 citations), a multitude of conference presentations and is a reviewer in scientific journals.
Viticulture and wine production are important agricultural activities in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece, Slovenia and Morocco. In all three countries diverse geographical terrains and microclimates have favoured wide Vitis diversity and led to local varieties that are well adapted to the specific agro-climatic conditions supporting sustainable agricultural systems of low inputs. However, introduction of foreign commercial varieties have resulted in genetic erosion and loss of genetic diversity, calling for collaborative actions to preserve the diversity of Vitis genetic resources. Moreover, environmental changes accros the Mediterranean region, linked to the the ongoing global climate change, and the threat of diseases may have a negative impact for Mediterranean viticulture. The project, ‘MedVitis’, within the framework of the ARIMNET2 programme, is an integrated effort by Greek, Slovenian and Moroccan partners, aiming to protect Mediterranean grapevine biodiversity and enrich national grapevine resources. It involves phenotypic and molecular characterization of commonly used as well as rare grapevine varieties leading to proper variety identification, resolving problems of ambiguous varietal identity, and updating national grapevine databases. Furthermore, exploration and characterization of rare grapevine germplasm will provide knowledge about varieties with tolerance to the changing climatic conditions observed in these Mediterranean regions, such as drought, elevated temperature, increased rainfalls, or with resistance to common pathogens, and could promote sustainable viticulture as less water and/or fungicide usage will be needed. The project ‘MedVitis’ aims to protect the diversity of grapevine germplasm across the three countries, in order to address more efficiently issues of grapevine identification, genetic erosion, climate change and Vitis pathogenicity across the Mediterranean basin. Hence, the research proposed by the project ‘MedVitis’ is expected to contribute to the conservation of Mediterranean grapevine genetic resources, promote sustainable viticulture in the region, and enhance rural development affecting the economy and growth of local communities.
Pitsoli Theodora holds a position of scientific personnel at the Hellenic Agricultural Organization-Demeter, Institute of Olive Tree, Subtropical Crops and Viticulture, Department of Vitis, Lykovryssi, Athens, Greece specializing in Ampelography and phenotypic evaluation of grapevine germplasm. She received her M.Sc. degree in Viticulture and Oenology from the Agricultural University of Athens. She was employed as a scientific officer and participated as research team member in various research programs. Her main research interests include the identification, classification and evaluation of grapevine varieties by ampelographic methods and grapevine microprogation. She participated as a member of the Ministry of Agriculture Working Group, in the ECPGR On-Farm Conservation and Management Working Group and Wild Species Conservation in Genetic Reserves Working Group and as a member of the group of reviewer for the rational use of pesticides. She has undertaken a series of projects on the comparative assessment of native grapevine varieties in cooperation with local authorities in various regions of Greece. She has publications in international scientific journals and in conference presentations.
The project “PyrrouAmpelos” constitutes a synergy among two companies in the region of Epirus and three research originations: Zoinos Winery, IPER, the Hellenic Agricultural Organization-Demeter, the University of Ioannina and the Agricultural University of Athens.rnIt aims at preserving and promoting the uniqueness of indigenous grapevine genetic resources of the Epirus region of Greece, through their proper identification and valorization.rn The goal of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the regional viti-vinicultural sector to place a variety of branded products in the market.rnThe project focuses on: rn localization of autochthonous grapevine varieties (either registered or not registered in the National Catalogue), ampelographic description and phenotypic evaluationrn genotyping and epigenetic analyses towards developing diagnostic molecular tools for identification, traceability and stability of genetic resourcesrn evaluation of the phytosanitary status of the grapevine germplasmrn evaluation of the oenological potential of different grapevine varieties through vinification, chemical analysis, metabolomic analyses and organoleptic assessmentsrn generation of a grapevine database with the phenotypic, genetic and epigenetic information complemented by geo-referenced data.