National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

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Soraya Mousavi

Role: Researcher
Section: Researchers and Technologists
Division: Perugia
Tel: (39) 0755014813


Researcher at IBBR/CNR


December 2013: Ph.D. in Horticultural Sciences- Fruticulture (Physiology and genetic Improvement) at the University of Tarbiat Modares, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Tehran, Iran, discussing a thesis: “Study of morpho-physiological characteristics and molecular fingerprinting of olive feral forms and cultivars”.

February 2009: Master’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering - Horticultural Sciences, at the University of Tarbiat Modares, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Tehran, Iran, discussing a thesis: “Identification of self-compatibility, cross-incompatibility and chilling requirement of some Asian pear genotypes (Pyrus serotina Rehd.)”.

October 2005: Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering - Horticulture, at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Iran, discussing a thesis: “Evaluation of morphological diversity in Iranian apricot cultivars”.

Work experience

June 2018 - September 2020: Post-doctoral research fellowship at National Research Council - Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources (IBBR).

September 2015 - April 2018: Post-doctoral research fellowship at National Research Council - Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Systems of the Mediterranean (ISAFOM).

July 2014 - July 2015: Post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Perugia, Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences.

Main Research Interests

  • Characterization of olive genes involved in environmental stress, oil synthesis, and incompatibility.
  • Identifying functional markers and QTLs by genetic mapping.
  • Molecular evaluation of olive cultivars, ecotypes, and wild olive populations.
  • Development of new molecular markers.
  • Studying the phenotypic plasticity of olives under different environments.
  • Cross-breeding is aimed at selecting new cultivars facing climatic constraints.
  • Metabolomics of a wide collection of olive genotypes.

Research Group:

Roberto Mariotti- Research Technician

Simone Pizzi-Postdoc Researcher

Elissa Daher-Postdoc Researcher

Roya Nikbakht- Postdoc Researcher

Lorenzo Cruciani-Postdoc Researcher

Coordination and participation in projects:

  • Responsible for the CNR-IBBR Unit in the H2020 Europe Project: BeXyl - Beyond Xylella, Integrated Management Strategies for Mitigating Xylella fastidiosa impact in. European Commission CALL: HORIZON-CL6-2021-FARM2FORK-01, (2022-2026).
  • Responsible for the CNR-IBBR Unit in the Italian call for proposal: “Research actions for reducing the impact on agricultural and natural ecosystems of the harmful plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa (REACH-XY)”, (2022-2027).
  • Responsible for the CNR-IBBR Unit in the Italian call for proposal: Bando MIPAAF Decreto n. 419161 del 13/9/22. “Enhancing agrobiodiversity through multiomics and next generation breeding approaches for resistance to Xylella fastidiosa - OMIBREED”, (2023-2026).
  • Responsible for the CNR-IBBR Unit in the European PNRR-AGRITECH project for spoke1-olive - linking phenotype and genotype: discovery of loci/genes/alleles for traits of interest and genome-wide analysis of genetic diversity, pan-genome reconstruction, and modeling of evolvability in response to climate change, (2022-2026).
  • Responsible for the CNR-IBBR-PG Unit in the Italian call for proposal: Nutrizione, Alimentazione & Invecchiamento Attivo - NUTRAGE, (2022-2024).
  • Participant in the H2020 Europe Project: PRO-GRACE - Promoting a Plant Genetic Resource Community for Europe CALL: HORIZON-INFRA-2022-DEV-01, (2023-2026).

Coordinator of two research contracts:

  • GAL XLOKK di Malta “L’olio d’oliva del Mediterraneo”
  • Exploring the olive diversity for resistant genotypes for Xylella Fastidiosa


  • Mother tongue: Persian
  • Other languages: English and Italian

Training and visits to other Institutions

  • November - December 2021: CNRS UMR 8198 - Evo-Eco-Paleo, Univ. Lille, Lille, France.
  • November - December 2018: Optimum quality, Priego de Cordoba (Spain); Cordoba IFAPA, World Olive Germplasm Collection (Spain); IRTA, Tarragona (Spain).
  • May - June 2017: INRA Marrakech, World Olive Germplasm Collection, Morocco.
  • May 2016: Optimum quality, Priego de Cordoba (Spain); Cordoba IFAPA, World Olive Germplasm Collection (Spain); IRTA, Tarragona (Spain).
  • February-July 2012: CNR-Plant Genetic Institute (IGV), Perugia, Italy.

Membership of international journals as a guest editor and reviewer

Guest editor of:

  • Special issue "Genetics and Genomics of Plant Reproduction for Crop Breeding" of Frontiers in Plant Science.
  • Special issue "Olive Genetic Diversity, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Genetic Resources" of Sustainability Journal.
  • Special issue "Olive Genetic Diversity, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Genetic Resources" of Diversity Journal.

Reviewer of:

  • 2015 - present...... Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology
  • 2019 - present......Tree Genetics & Genomes
  • 2019 - present......European Journal of Horticultural Science
  • 2019 - present…...Food Science and Technology
  • 2019 - present…...Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences
  • 2019 - present……PeerJ
  • 2020 - present……Phytochemistry
  • 2020 - present……Scientific Reports
  • 2020 - present……Sustainability
  • 2020 - present......Frontiers in Plant Science
  • 2020 - present......International Journal of Molecular Sciences
  • 2021 - present......Horticulturae
  • 2021 - present......Plants


  • Mariotti, Roberto, Angjelina Belaj, Raúl de la Rosa, Rosario Muleo, Marco Cirilli, Ivano Forgione, Maria Cristina Valeri, and Soraya Mousavi. "Genealogical tracing of Olea europaea species and pedigree relationships of var. europaea using chloroplast and nuclear markers." BMC Plant Biology 23, no. 1 (2023): 452.

  • Asadi, AliAkbar, Vahid Shariati, Soraya Mousavi, Roberto Mariotti, and Mehdi Hosseini Mazinani. "Meta-analysis of transcriptome reveals key genes relating to oil quality in olive." BMC genomics 24, no. 1 (2023): 566.

  • Passeri, Valentina, Clayton Sammut, David Mifsud, Andrea Domesi, Vitale Stanzione, Luciana Baldoni, Soraya Mousavi et al. "The Ancient Olive Trees (Olea europaea L.) of the Maltese Islands: A Rich and Unexplored Patrimony to Enhance Oliviculture." Plants 12, no. 10 (2023): 1988.

  • Karamatlou, Issa, Saeid Navabpour, Khalil Zaynali Nezhad, Roberto Mariotti, Soraya Mousavi, and Mehdi Hosseini-Mazinani. "Cold stress resilience of Iranian olive genetic resources: evidence from autochthonous genotypes diversity." Frontiers in Plant Science 14 (2023): 1140270.

  • Alagna, F., Reed, J., Calderini, O., Thimmappa, R., Cultrera, N. G., Cattivelli, A., Tagliazucchi, D., Mousavi, S., Mariotti, R., Osbourn, A., Baldoni, L. 2023. OeBAS and CYP716C67 catalyze the biosynthesis of health‐beneficial triterpenoids in olive (Olea europaea L.) fruits. New Phytologist.
  • Barcaccia, G., Mazzucato, A., Albertini, E., Zenoni, S., Baldoni, L., Mousavi, S., Mendes, M.A., Coimbra, S., Granell, A., Pupilli, F. 2023. Editorial: Genetics and genomics of plant reproduction for crop breeding. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14.
  • Contreras, C., Pierantozzi, P., Maestri, D., Tivani, M., Searles, P., Brizuela, M., Fernández, F., Toro, A., Puertas, C., Trentacoste, E.R., Kiessling, J., Mariotti, R., Baldoni, L., Mousavi, S., Fernandez, P., Moschen, S., Torres, M. 2023. How Temperatures May Affect the Synthesis of Fatty Acids during Olive Fruit Ripening: Genes at Work in the Field. Plants, 12(1), 54.
  • Valeri, M. C., Mifsud, D., Sammut, C., Pandolfi, S., Lilli, E., Bufacchi, M., Vitale, S., Passeri, V., Baldoni, L., Mariotti, R., Mousavi, S. 2022. Exploring Olive Genetic Diversity in the Maltese Islands. Sustainability, 14(17), 10684.
  • Mariotti, R., Núñez-Carmona, E., Genzardi, D., Pandolfi, S., Sberveglieri, V., Mousavi, S. 2022. Volatile Olfactory Profiles of Umbrian Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Their Discrimination through MOX Chemical Sensors. Sensors, 22(19), 7164.
  • Mousavi, S., Stanzione, V., Mariotti, R., Mastio, V., Azariadis, A., Passeri, V., Valeri, M.C., Baldoni, L. and Bufacchi, M., 2022. Bioactive Compound Profiling of Olive Fruit: The Contribution of Genotype. Antioxidants, 11(4), p.672.
  • Torres, M., Pierantozzi, P., Contreras, C., Stanzione, V., Tivani, M., Mastio, V., Gentili, L., Searles, P., Brizuela, M., Fernández, F., Toro, A., Puertas, C., Trentacost, E., Kiessling, J., Mariotti, R., Mousavi, S., Bufacchi, M., Baldoni, L., Maestri, D. 2022. Thermal regime and cultivar effects on squalene and sterol contents in olive fruits: Results from a field network in different Argentinian environments. Scientia Horticulturae, 303, 111230.
  • Mousavi, S., Mariotti, R., Valeri, M.C., Regni, L., Lilli, E., Albertini, E., Proietti, P., Businelli, D., Baldoni, L. 2022. Characterization of Differentially Expressed Genes under Salt Stress in Olive. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23, 154.
  • Mousavi, S., Mariotti, R., Stanzione, V., Pandolfi, S., Mastio, V., Baldoni, L. and Cultrera, N.G., 2021. Evolution of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Quality under Different Storage Conditions. Foods, 10(8), p.1945.
  • Mariotti, R., Pandolfi, S., De Cauwer, I., Saumitou-Laprade, P., Vernet, P., Rossi, M., Baglivo, F., Baldoni, L. and Mousavi, S., 2021. Diallelic self‐incompatibility is the main determinant of fertilization patterns in olive orchards. Evolutionary Applications. 00: 1- 13.
  • Mariotti, R., Belaj, A., De La Rosa, R., Leòn, L., Brizioli, F., Baldoni, L. and Mousavi, S., 2020. EST-SNP Study of Olea europaea L. Uncovers Functional Polymorphisms between Cultivated and Wild Olives. Genes, 11(8), p.916.
  • Contreras, C., Mariotti, R., Mousavi, S., Baldoni, L., Guerrero, C., Roka, L., Cultrera, N., Pierantozzi, P., Maestri, D., Gentili, L. and Tivani, M., 2020. Characterization and validation of olive FAD and SAD gene families: expression analysis in different tissues and during fruit development. Molecular Biology Reports.
  • Mariotti, R., Fornasiero, A., Mousavi, S., Cultrera, N.G., Brizioli, F., Pandolfi, S., Passeri, V., Rossi, M., Magris, G., Scalabrin, S. and Scaglione, D., 2020. Genetic Mapping of the Incompatibility Locus in Olive and Development of a Linked Sequence-Tagged Site Marker. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10, p.1760.
  • Mousavi S., de la Rosa R., Moukhli A., El Riachy M., Mariotti R., Torres M., Pierantozzi P., Stanzione V., Mastio V., Zaher H., El Antari A., Ayoub S., Dandachi F., Youssef H., Aggelou N., Contreras C., Maestri D., Belaj A., Bufacchi M., Baldoni L., Leon L. 2019. Plasticity of fruit and oil traits in olive among different environments. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 1-13.
  • Mousavi, S., Regni, L., Bocchini, M., Mariotti, R., Cultrera, N.G., Mancuso, S., Googlani, J., Chakerolhosseini, M.R., Guerrero, C., Albertini, E. and Baldoni, L., 2019. Physiological, epigenetic and genetic regulation in some olive cultivars under salt stress. Scientific Reports, 9(1), p.1093.
  • Alagna F, Caceres M.E, Pandolfi S, Collani S, Mousavi S, Mariotti R, Cultrera N.G.M, Baldoni L and Barcaccia G. 2019. The paradox of self-fertile varieties in the context of self-incompatible genotypes in olive. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10, p.725.
  • Regni L, Del Pino AM, Mousavi S, Palmerini CA, Baldoni L, Mariotti R, Mairech H, D’Amato R, and Proietti P. 2019. Behavior of four olive cultivars during salt stress. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10, p.867.
  • Mousavi, S., Stanzione, V., Mencuccini, M., Baldoni, L., Bufacchi, M. and Mariotti, R. 2019. Biochemical and molecular profiling of unknown olive genotypes from central Italy: determination of major and minor components. European Food Research and Technology, 245(1), pp.83-94.
  • Cultrera, N.G., Sarri, V., Lucentini, L., Ceccarelli, M., Alagna, F., Mariotti, R., Mousavi, S., Ruiz, C.G. and Baldoni, L., 2018. High levels of variation within gene sequences of Olea europaea. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9.
  • Mousavi S., Mariotti R., Regni L., Nasini L., Bufacchi M., Pandolfi S., Baldoni L. and Proietti P. 2017. The first molecular identification of an olive collection applying standard simple sequence repeats and novel expressed sequence tag markers. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8, p.1283.
  • Mousavi S., Mariotti R., Bagnoli F., Costantini L., Cultrera N.G., Arzani K., Pandolfi S., Vendramin G.G., Torkzaban B., Hosseini-Mazinani M. and Baldoni L. 2017. The eastern part of the Fertile Crescent concealed an unexpected route of olive (Olea europaea) differentiation. Annals of Botany, 119(8), pp.1305-1318.
  • Mariotti R., Cultrera N.G.M., Mousavi S., Baglivo F., Rossi M., Albertini E., Alagna F., Carbone F., Perrotta G. and Baldoni L. 2016. Development, evaluation, and validation of new EST-SSR markers in olive (Olea europaea). Tree Genetics & Genomes, 12(6), p.120.
  • Torkzaban B., Kayvanjoo A.H., Ardalan A., Mousavi S., Mariotti R., Baldoni L., Ebrahimie E., Ebrahimi M. and Hosseini-Mazinani M. 2015. Machine learning based classification of microsatellite variation: an effective approach for phylogeographic characterization of olive populations. PloS one, 10(11), p.e0143465.
  • Mousavi S., Hosseini-Mazinani M., Arzani K., Yadollahi A., Pandolfi S. Baldoni L., Mariotti R. 2014. Molecular and morphological characterization of Golestan (Iran) olive ecotypes provides evidence for the presence of promising genotypes. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 61(4), pp.775-785.

Book chapters

  • Mariotti, R., Mousavi, S., Baldoni, L. 2022. OLEUM. Qualità, tecnologia e sostenibilità degli oli da olive, I Edition. In: Chapter: 7.6 Nuovi metodi analitici per la caratterizzazione degli oli. Publisher: Edagricole - Edizioni Agricole di New Business Media srl.

    Rugini E., Baldoni L., Silvestri C., Mariotti R., Narváez I., Cultrera N., Cristofori V., Bashir M.A., Mousavi S., Palomo-Ríos E., Mercado J.A., Pliego-Alfaro F. 2020. Biotechnology of Fruit and Nut Crops, 2nd Edition. In: Chapter 16.1 Olive - Olea europaea, spp. europaea. CABI International 2020.

    Rugini, E., Silvestri, C., Mousavi, S., Baldoni, L., Mariotti, R. 2020. Biotechnologie. Accademia Nazionale dell’Olivo e dell’Olio.

    Mousavi S., Sheikh-Hassani M., Ataei S., Noormohammadi Z., Mariotti, R., Baldoni L. 2013. Iranian Olive Catalogue. In: Molecular characterization of Iranian olive germplasm. NIGEB, ISBN: 978-964-8516-23-4, 210 pages.

    Mousavi S., Sheikh-Hassani M., Ataei S., Fallahzadeh E., Arji B., Avi A., Ebrahimi H., Beenyaz A., Hosseini A. 2013. Iranian Olive Catalogue. In: Autochthonous olive varieties in Iran. NIGEB, ISBN: 978-964-8516-23-4, 210 pages.

You may find main publications at the following URLs:


Selected Publications

(full list available at CNR People)

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