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Annual Progress Conference

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Presentation on theme: "Annual Progress Conference"— Presentation transcript:

1 Annual Progress Conference
Action Title: Omics Technologies for Crop Improvement, Traceability, Determination of Authenticity, Adulteration and Origin in Saffron (SAFFRONOMICS) Action number: FA1101 Start date: 24/11/2011 End date: 23/11/2015 Year: 2nd Maria Z. Tsimidou Chair Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/ Greece Annual Progress Conference Jerusalem, 1-3 July 2013

2 Scientific context and objectives (1/2)
Background / Problem statement: Saffron is a profitable High Value Agricultural Product (HVAP), of European in origin, cultural and historical background fits food-safety tendencies in Europe a crop that fixes population in the rural areas The European Saffron industry is in crisis. Little or null impact in the CAP. Adulteration and mislabelling are key problems. The scientific human power involved in Saffron RTD is petite. This crop requires global actions, overcoming private and national interests –actions are needed beyond EU borders. Brief reminder of MoU objectives: To build up a network of collaborative research on the structural organization of Saffron genome, DNA fingerprinting, chemical fingerprinting, proteomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics of this crop. The final objective is to preserve Crocus biodiversity, to carry out genetic improvement and to protect quality, sustainability, and safety of production of saffron in Europe. The long term achievement expected: CONTROL OF ADULTERATION WORLDWIDE.

3 Crocus sativus L. style stigma ovary The plant Crocus sativus L.
Family: Iridaceae Subfamily: Crocoideae Genus: Crocus Species: Crocus Sativus Linnaeus Crocus sativus L. The plant Crocus sativus L. is a member of the Iridaceae family. The major producing countries are Iran, India, Spain and Greece. It is a perennial, triploid, sterile plant and is reproduced by corms. It reaches a height of 10 to 25 cm. Its purple flowers consist of 6 petals. The pistil is located in the centre of its flower with one ovary from which a style is emerged. Style is ended to a three-branch Το φυτό C. sativus L. ανήκει στην οικογένεια των Ιριδοειδών. Οι κύριες κροκοπαραγωγές χώρες είναι το Ιράν, η Ινδία, η Ισπανία και η Ελλάδα. Είναι φυτό τριπλοειδές, στείρο, πολλαπλασιάζεται με βολβούς. Το ύψος του κυμαίνεται από 10 έως 25 εκ. Τα ιώδη άνθη του αποτελούνται από 6 πέταλα. Στο κέντρο του άνθους υπάρχουν 3 κίτρινοι στήμονες και η ωοθήκη με το στύλο ο οποίος διαχωρίζεται σε 3 stigma style stigma στίγματα ovary 4

4 Annual cycle of the plant Crocus sativus L.
corms: 3 to 6 years in the same field βολβοί: 3 με 6 χρόνια στο ίδιο χωράφι White Book, Saffron in Europe 5

5 Scientific context and objectives (2/2)
Research directions: -ORGANISING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATIVE R&D and INNOVATION ASSEMBLING PREEMINENT EXPERTS (MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH) INVOLVING PRODUCERS, MANUFACTURERS, MARKET STAKEHOLDERS & CONSUMERS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST FRAUD This integrated knowledge will be the basis for the development of Saffron genetic improvement, for reliable innovative techniques to produce high value saffron and to combat especially bio-adulteration and fraud.

6 Working groups Working group Genetics, Genomics & Transcriptomics (coordinated research on these fields). Leader: P. Herslop-Harrison (UK); Co-Leader: A. Mozzarelli (IT) Working group Phytochemistry & Metabolomics (coordinated research on these fields). Leader: M. Polissiou (GR); Co-leader: M. Carmona (ES) Working group Molecular and Phytochemical fingerprinting for breeding, traceability, and authenticity (development of technological tools) Leader: S. Fluch (AT); Co-Leader: P. Tarantilis (GR) Working group Dissemination, Project Management & Coordination. Leader: O. Santana (ES); Co-Leader: JM. Thiercelin (FR)

7 Future Plan and Challenges
Further advance in the genetic characterization, estimation of biodiversity and development of molecular and chemical descriptors for Saffron and Crocus spp. at the CROCUSBANK World Saffron and Crocus Collection ( To evaluate the available genomic tools and modern genetic and breeding approaches looking for crop improvement in saffron and ornamental crocuses. To initiate the application of omics techniques to detect “new-generation” bioadulterants in saffron, based on DNA and chemical fingerprinting. To initiate genomic typing of Saffron in PDOs and recognized areas, as tools for traceability applications, determination of authenticity, and for fighting against fraud of origin, labelling and marketing in this HVAP, the highest-priced European food product.

8 Action Parties Grant Holder: Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) Spain Dr. Marta Roldan-Medina

9 Action participants

ISRAEL:1 MOROCCO:2 EGYPT: 1 TURKEY:1 1 2 1 2 1 4 1 3 3 1 1 10 2 1 20 19

11 *In scientific journals
Use of COST Instruments Activity (No.) Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 MC/WG Meetings 3 STSMs 5 Training Schools - Workshops or Conferences 1 Joint Publications* *In scientific journals

12 Progress vs objectives
Progress in joint research has been achieved mainly through exchange visits of young scientists from laboratories of established experience in saffron quality and authenticity aspects (Spain, Italy, Greece) to laboratories of established experience in new analytical techniques (Greece, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands) and between laboratories involved in Plant Genomics (Spain, Italy). Progress has been also achieved in networking of individual researchers during the 4 meetings so far (2 collaboration for project submission). WEB page ( and newsletter are useful platforms for communicating various types of information on “saffronomics” and other related activities Progress was also achieved in dissemination about saffron properties, authenticity and consumer awareness as well as for expansion of saffron cultivation (Austria, FYROM, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia)

13 Progress vs objectives
Main Results obtained vs. specific objectives were the 54 communications by a total of 95 different authors presented in the 3 COST FA1101 Meetings taken place during the 2012 year and the 20 ones presented by a total of 49 authors in the 1rst meeting of 2013 ( Agreement to share reference samples of saffron dried stigmas to get comparable scientific results among laboratories Agreement to collaborate in ring tests for the improvement of analytical protocols

14 Significant Highlights in Science or Networking
One proposal to the Call: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN. One proposal in Call FP7‐KBBE‐2013‐7 ‐ single‐stage -KBBE ‐01 “Assuring quality and authenticity in the food chain”

15 Challenges Deviations are mainly due to financial restrictions in terms of national or european fundings Collaboration between academics and industrial partners -even when agreements are signed – is not funded easily. More data are expected in the field of Genomics and transcriptomics. This work is tedious and expensive.

16 Socio-economic impacts and important societal impacts
Involvement of SAFFRONOMICS partners with saffron producers and companies strengthen the links among all interested parties (Italy, Spain, Greece) Expansion of saffron cultivation has become a strategic plan (Austria) Familiarization of the young generation from producing areas with saffron cultivation, authenticity and properties has become a priority in the activities of certain partners (Greece)

17 Thank you for your attention

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