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Chestnut R&D Centre, Piemonte (Italy): 10 years of activity
- Beccaro, G. L., Alma, A., Gonthier, P., Mellano, M. G., Ferracini, C., Giordano, L., Lione, G., Donno, D., Boni, I., Ebone, A., Raina, E., Rocca, M., Bounous, G.
- Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1220 pp. 133-140
- Castanea, arboreta, biodiversity, cultivars, extension education, food science, forests, funding, genetic variation, germplasm, germplasm conservation, growers, human resources, industry, research and development, technicians, China, France, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United States
- In order to improve the R&D strategies in chestnut cultivation and to further develop the chestnut industry, the University of Torino (Dept. of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences), with the financial support of the Piemonte Region, established in 2005 a Chestnut Research and Development Centre, which is located in Chiusa Pesio (Cuneo Province, North Western Italy). The Piemonte Region supported the Centre with human resources and structures (nurseries, land to establish a Castanea arboretum). The Centre carries out research on several topics related to chestnut cultivation, including chestnut germplasm, advanced propagation techniques, optimization of cultural practices, pests and diseases management, nursery and extension services. In the Centre a germplasm collection of chestnut genetic variability has been established on a 3 ha surface and includes main local and national cultivars, with several European cultivars grown in Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland and other accessions coming from the USA, China, and Japan. The collection is in progress and will be completed in the next years. A newsletter published in English and Italian periodically informs researchers, technicians and growers about advancements in the field (www.centrocastanicoltura.unito.it/ newsletter.html). The Centre represents today a National conservatory of chestnut biodiversity and it is a reference Centre for research activities on Castanea species.