Research activity in the Fruit Trees Section encompasses methods of managing yield and quality of fruit trees and vines and optimising production cost.
Evaluation of table grape varieties
Evaluation of new and traditional table grape varieties under different environmental conditions is undertaken at the Saittas and Acheleia Experimental Stations. In Saittas, the newly introduced table grape varieties Red Globe, Superior, Fantasy Seedless, Crimson Seedless, Autumn Royal, Sublima and the traditional varieties Veriko and Sideritis are under evaluation in terms of yield, quality and earliness. At the Acheleia Station, in addition to the above, the varieties Prima, Black Emerald, Early Superior, Summer Muscat, Ora, Victoria, Italia, Calmeria and Flame Seedless were also introduced for evaluation.
Evaluation of table and wine grape varieties grafted on American rootstocks
The imported table grape varieties Crimson Seedless, Autumn Royal, Fantasy Seedless, Black Emerald and the autochthonous varieties Veriko and Sideritis grafted on the American rootstocks 110 Richter, 3309 Couderc, 41B, 99 Richter, 420A, 1103P and 140 Ruggeri are evaluated in terms of yield, fruit quality and earliness. The table grape varieties Fantasy Seedless, Black Emerald and the autochthonous varieties Veriko and Sideritis are evaluated at the Acheleia Experimental Station and Autumn Royal at the Saittas Experimental Station. Crimson Seedless is evaluated at both locations.
Evaluation of the traditional wine grape varieties Maratheftiko and Xinisteri, grafted on the American rootstocks 110 Richter, 3309 Couderc, 41B, 99 Richter, 420A and 140 Ruggeri, are performed at Kilani and Kannaviou respectively. Both varieties are evaluated in terms of yield, fruit quality and earliness.
Collection and Conservation of table grape and wine varieties
The aim of this project is to collect and preserve all the table grape and wine varieties imported in Cyprus over the years. At the moment a collection of 53 table grape varieties has been established at the Acheleia Experimental Station.
Evaluation of traditional wine grape varieties
The traditional varieties Mavro, Xynisteri, Ofthalmo, Spourtiko, Maratheftiko, Morokanella, Malaga and Lefkada are evaluated in terms of yield and quality in comparison to the imported varieties Mataro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Collection and ampelographic description of traditional table and wine grape varieties
The aim of this project is the acquisition of primary and secondary descriptor data, according to the International Organisation of Wine and Vine (OIV) standards, for the traditional table and wine grape varieties.
Management and conservation of grapevine genetic resources
The long-term objective of this project is to preserve and study in-situ populations of wild vines as well as old and neglected varieties and to promote their future utilisation. An ex-situ collection has been established at Saittas Experimental Station.
DECIDUOUS FRUIT TREES
Characterization and evaluation of local pomegranate clones (Punica granatum L.)
Research regarding the evaluation of selected local pomegranate clones, planted at the Zygi Experimental Station, is being implemented as part of an interdisciplinary research program under the coordination of the Post-Harvest Technology Laboratory. The purpose of this study is the characterization and evaluation of local pomegranate clones concerning phenological, pomological-morphological and production characteristics. In particular, phenological development stages, growth and productivity of clones, morphological and qualitative characteristics of fruits, are examined in terms of yield and quality.
Evaluation of cherry varieties (Prunus avium L.)
Nine cherry varieties (Prunus avium L.) are under examination in terms of production, fruit quality, and maturation period. An experimental plantation is established at Saittas Experimental Station. The varieties currently being evaluated are: Bigarreau Burlat, Black Tartarian, Utah Giant, Bigarreau Ferbolous (Verdel), Bigarreau Summit, Bigarreau Fercer (Arcina), Bigarreau Reverchon (Souche sandar), Bigarreau Lapins and Van. The aim of this work is to evaluate and investigate the behaviour of Cherry varieties under the local agro-climatic conditions of Cyprus, in order to result with varieties that have excellent fruit quality. In addition, the evaluation of maturity time within the season is being measured, in order to satisfy market needs for longer periods.
LIFE+ ORGANIKO: Revamping organic farming and its products in the context of climate change mitigation strategies
The ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate the comparative advantages of organic versus conventional farming and products using indicators of: Mitigation efficiency to climate change, agronomic and environmental quality, decreased children exposures to diet-based pesticides, healthy food promotion for better children’s health. Experimental work is being carried out for the needs of the LIFE + ORGANIKO program under the coordination of the Agricultural Microbiology Laboratory. The impact of different agricultural practices on GHG emissions and fruit quality is examined under conventional and organic apple cultivation.
3PRO: Proactive Producer and Processor Networks for Troodos Mountains Agriculture
The project’s general objective is to improve agricultural production and food processing in the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus, through social innovation, sustainable natural resource management and climate change adaptation. The Sector’s contribution to the project will be aiming to Sustainable fruit production with the application of protective nets in cherry and apple orchards. Sustainable fruit production improves natural and Agricultural Resource Management, leading to the conservation of economical, natural and cultural resources to the benefit of the society and the environment. Productivity, fruit quality and environmental impact of integrated fruit production under protective nets will be examined in the context of the project.
National Catalogue Varieties of fruit genera and species
In cooperation with the Department of Agriculture of Cyprus, the description of fruit plant varieties in order to be accepted for registration to the National Catalogue of Cyprus according to the provisions of the National legislation for the production and marketing of propagating material of fruit genera and species is conducted.
OLIVE CULTURE - OLIVE OIL TECHNOLOGY
The Olive Technology Laboratory (OTL) continues the actions of ex situ conservation, characterisation and evaluation of olive genetic material included in Olive Collection of Agricultural Research Institute (OCARICY) in Tochni. The identification of local olive genetic material has been implemented by the use of a protocol combining both morphological and molecular markers and important results have been exported for the cultivars under study. This, together with the participation of OTL in the new international cooperation project (THOC project) coordinated by International Olive Council has launched the future enrichment of OCARICY with new genetic material.
Another OTL’s basic area of research is the study of the qualitative characteristics of olive products (olive fruit and olive oil) and their evolution with maturity and postharvest handling. Olive oil technology and the study of the effect of parameters during the process of olive oil extraction and configuration of the organoleptic and chemical profile of extra virgin olive oil constitute a basic OTL’s area of research.
Active interdisciplinary research project is dealing with the effect of various pre- and post- harvest factors on the characteristics of olive fruit, olive paste and olive oil of Cypriot and Greek cultivars. Additional to the description of the maturity evolution and the patterns followed by the cultivars, oil yield, olive paste’s rheological-chemical characteristics and olive oil’s physicochemical-organoleptic characteristics in relation to maturity stage of cultivars is studied. The results so far demonstrated that maturation patterns differ among cultivars while the olive fruit’s stage of maturity is very important on the configuration of olive oil’s profile. Upon its completion, the full delineation of cultivars’ maturation profile aims to provide the knowledge required for optimum exploitation of cultivar specific characteristics, especially of Cypriot cultivars, during the production of olive products (table olives and olive oil) to obtain high quality and nutritional-organoleptic value.
Savvas Savvides, Soteroula Ioannidou, Maria Emmanouilidou