National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

DISBA logo CNR logo

Luciana Baldoni

Role: Research Director
Section: Researchers and Technologists
Division: Perugia
Tel: (39) 0755014812-3283760912

National Research Council - Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources (CNR-IBBR), Division of Perugia, Via Madonna Alta, 130 - 06128 Perugia, Italy

Research interests: Olive genomics, evaluation of genetic resources, breeding

Main focus of the research includes the biology, genetics, genomics and breeding of olive (Olea europaea L.), with current activities carried out on:

  • genotyping of olive cultivars, with particular attention on local, minor, neglected varieties, ancient trees and ecotypes, and wild olive populations for their identification, discrimination, analysis of genetic relationships and studies on domestication and origin;
  • functional characterization of genes and regulatory elements involved in important metabolic pathways, including oil accumulation, polyphenol and triterpene synthesis, flowering and fruit ripening;
  • sequencing and transcriptome analysis;
  • evaluation of the plant’s response to environmental (drought, salt) and biological (Bactrocera oleae, Spilocaea oleagina) stresses;
  • participation in the sequencing of the olive tree genome cv. Leccino;
  • analysis of the self- and inter-incompatibility system;
  • development of SNP, polynucleotide SSR, plastidial and mitochondrial markers;
  • phenotyping of fruit and tree architecture;
  • identification of functional markers and QTL through genetic mapping and genome-wide association studies;
  • DNA analysis of olive oil to authenticate its genetic origin;
  • breeding through intervarietal crossings and selection of new varieties (content of fruit bioactive compounds, tree architecture, fertility, production) and rootstocks (control of tree vigor, drought tolerance, resistance to pathogens);
  • conservation and evaluation of a large collection of olive genotypes, including varieties, wild olive trees and related subspecies;
  • development and management of the molecular database for over 4.000 olive genotypes and phenotypic data and digital images of about 200 varieties.

Research Group:

  • Maria Cristina Valeri - Postdoc Researcher

Current main projects

    • 2022-2025 - BIOMEnext - Modelling integrated biodiversity-based next generation Mediterranean farming systems. PRIMA Program - Thematic Area 2-Farming systems
    • 2019-2022 - LIVINGAGRO - Cross Border Living Laboratories for Agroforestry (GC A_A.2.1_0190) ENI CBC MED Program.
    • 2021-2023 - ALIFUN - Development of functional foods for the innovation of Italian traditional food products - PON ARS01_00783.
    • 2022-2023 - OLIVE HUB - Development of alternative cultivars to face the new challenges of the olive growing - PSR Umbria, Measure 16.2.1.
    • 2020-2022. DOPUP - DOP olive oil for a new presence of Umbria on the planet (CN 19423) PSR Umbria, Measure 16.1.
    • 2018-2021 - INNO.V.O. - Sviluppo di varietà alternative per affrontare le nuove sfide dell’olivicoltura (CN B91I18000240002) PSR Umbria, Measure 16.2.1.
    • 2018-2021 - MULTI.PARK - Modelli di innovazione per la multifunzionalità e la sostenibilità delle aziende agricole nelle aree parco (CN 84250019795) PSR Umbria, Measure 16.1.
    • 2020-2021. ARSIAL - Recupero e valorizzazione di varietà locali di olivo (PN 0000047/2020) .

Research Activities

  • Participation or scientific coordination of international, national and regional research projects
  • Invited speaker and chairperson at international and national congresses
  • Attendance in scientific committees of national and international congresses
  • Participation at advisory panels for the evaluation of EU research proposals
  • Advisor of numerous national and international post doc researchers and research fellows
  • Supervisor of master and PhD students
  • Teaching in national and international theoretical and practical courses
  • Collaboration with universities and research institutions at national, European and international level
  • Service provider for molecular cultivars/clones identification and for the assessment of olive oil varietal composition
  • Member of national and international scientific societies and academies
  • Ad Hoc reviewer for 15 scientific journals

You may find main publications at the following URL:

Selected Publications

Mascagni F., Barghini E., Ceccarelli M., Baldoni L., Trapero C., Díez C.M., Natali L., Cavallini A., Giordani T., 2022. The singular evolution of Olea genome structure. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13, 869048-869048.

Mousavi S., Stanzione V., Mariotti R., Mastio V., Azariadis A., Passeri V., Valeri M.C., Baldoni L., Bufacchi M., 2022. Bioactive compound profiling of olive fruit: the contribution of genotype. Antioxidants, 11(4), 672.

Belaj A., Ninot A., Gómez-Gálvez F.J., El Riachy M., Gurbuz-Veral M., Torres M., Lazaj A., Klepo T., Paz S., Ugarte J., Baldoni L., Lorite I.J., Šatović Z., de la Rosa R., 2022. Utility of EST-SNP markers for improving management and use of olive genetic resources: a case study at the Worldwide Olive Germplasm Bank of Córdoba. Plants, 11(7), 921. 1.

Valeri M.C., Mifsud D., Sammut C., Pandolfi S., Lilli E., Bufacchi M., Stanzione V., Passeri V., Baldoni L., Mariotti R., Mousavi S., 2022. Exploring olive genetic diversity in the Maltese islands. Sustainability, 14(17), 10684. 4.

Torres M., Pierantozzi P., Contreras C., Stanzione V., Tivani M., Mastio V., Gentili L., Searles P., Brizuela M., Fernández F., Toro A., Puertas C., Trentacoste 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.

Rodríguez-López C.E., Hong B., Paetz C., Nakamura Y., Koudounas K., Passeri V., Baldoni L., Alagna F., Calderini O., O’Connor S.E., 2021. Two bi-functional cytochrome P450 CYP72 enzymes from olive (Olea europaea) catalyze the oxidative C-C bond cleavage in the biosynthesis of secoxy-iridoids - flavor and quality determinants in olive oil. New Phytol., 229(4), 2288-2301.

Mariotti R., Pandolfi S., De Cauwer I., Saumitou‐Laprade P., Vernet P., Rossi M., Baglivo F., Baldoni L., Mousavi, S., 2021. Diallelic self‐incompatibility is the main determinant of fertilization patterns in olive orchards. Evol. Appl., 14(4), 983.

Mousavi S., Mariotti R., Valeri M. C., Regni L., Lilli E., Albertini E., Proietti P., Businelli D., Baldoni L., 2021. Characterization of differentially expressed genes under salt stress in olive. Int. J. Mol. Sci., 23(1), 154.

Mousavi S., Mariotti R., Stanzione V., Pandolfi S., Mastio V., Baldoni L., Cultrera N.G., 2021. Evolution of extra virgin olive oil quality under different storage conditions. Foods, 10(8), 1945.

Mariotti R., Belaj A., De La Rosa R., Leòn L., Brizioli F., Baldoni L., Mousavi S., 2020. EST-SNP study of Olea europaea L. uncovers functional polymorphisms between cultivated and wild olives. Genes, 11(8): 916.

Contreras C., Mariotti R., Mousavi S., Baldoni L., Guerrero C., Roka L., Cultrera N.G.M., Pierantozzi P., Maestri D., Gentili L., Tivani M., Torres M., 2020. Characterization and validation of olive FAD and SAD gene families: expression analysis in different tissues and during fruit development. Mol. Biol. Rep. 47: 4345-4355.

Mariotti R., Fornasiero A., Mousavi S., Cultrera N.G., Brizioli F., Pandolfi S., Passeri V., Rossi M., Magris G., Scalabrin S., Scaglione D., Di Gaspero G., Saumitou-Laprade P., Vernet P., Alagna F., Morgante M., Baldoni L., 2020. Genetic mapping of the incompatibility locus in olive and development of a linked sequence-tagged site marker. Front. Plant Sci. 10: 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. Sci. Rep. 9(1): 1-13.

Regni L., Del Pino A.M., Mousavi S., Palmerini C.A., Baldoni L., Mariotti R., Mairech H., Gardi T., D’Amato R., Proietti P., 2019. Behaviour of four olive cultivars during salt stress. Front. Plant Sci. 10: 867.

Alagna F., Caceres M.E., Pandolfi S., Collani S., Mousavi S., Mariotti R., Cultrera N.G.M., Baldoni L., Barcaccia G., 2019. The paradox of self-fertile varieties in the context of self-incompatible genotypes in olive. Front. Plant Sci. 10: 725.

Mousavi S., Regni L., Bocchini M., Mariotti R., Cultrera N.G.M., Mancuso S., Googlani J., Chakerolhosseini M.R., Guerrero C., Albertini E., Baldoni L., Proietti P., 2019. Physiological, epigenetic and genetic regulation in some olive cultivars under salt stress. Sci. Rep. 9(1): 1093.

Mousavi S., Stanzione V., Mencuccini M., Baldoni L., Bufacchi M., Mariotti R., 2019. Biochemical and molecular profiling of unknown olive genotypes from central Italy: determination of major and minor components. Eur. Food Res. Technol. 245: 83-94.

Cultrera N.G.M., Sarri V., Lucentini L., Ceccarelli M., Alagna F., Mariotti R., Mousavi S., Guerrero Ruiz C., Baldoni L., 2019. High levels of variation within gene sequences of Olea europaea L. Front. Plant Sci. 9: 1932.

Belaj A., De La Rosa R., Lorite I.J., Mariotti R., Cultrera N.G.M, Beuzón C.R., González Plaza J.J., Muñoz-Mérida A., Trelles O., Baldoni L., 2018. Usefulness of a new large set of high throughput EST-SNP markers as a tool for olive germplasm collection management. Front. Plant Sci. 9: 1320.

Ninot A., Howad W., Aranzana M.J., Senar R., Romero A., Mariotti R., Baldoni L., Belaj A., 2018. Survey of over 4.500 monumental olive trees preserved on-farm in the northeast Iberian Peninsula, their genotyping and characterization. Sci. Hortic. 231: 253-264.

Hmmam I., Mariotti R., Ruperti B., Cultrera N., Baldoni L., Barcaccia G., 2018. Venetian olive (Olea europaea) germplasm: disclosing the genetic identity of locally grown cultivars suited for typical extra virgin oil productions. Genet. Resour. Crop Evol. 65 (6): 1733-1750.

Saumitou-Laprade P., Vernet P., Vekemans X., Castric V., Barcaccia G., Khadari B., Baldoni L., 2017. Controlling for genetic identity of varieties, pollen contamination and stigma receptivity is essential to characterize the self-incompatibility system of Olea europaea L. Evol. Appl. 10(9): 860-866.

Mousavi S., Mariotti R., Bagnoli F., Costantini L., Cultrera N.G.M., Arzani K., Pandolfi S., Vendramin G.G., Torkzaban B., Hosseini-Mazinani M., Baldoni L., 2017. The eastern part of the Fertile Crescent concealed an unexpected route of olive (Olea europaea L.) differentiation. Ann. Bot. 119(8): 1305-1318.

Mousavi S., Mariotti R., Regni L., Nasini L., Bufacchi M., Pandolfi S., Baldoni L., Proietti P., 2017. The first molecular identification of an olive collection applying standard simple sequence repeats and novel expressed sequence tag markers. Front. Plant Sci. 8: 1283.

Grasso F., Coppola M., Carbone F., Baldoni L., Alagna F., Perrotta G., Perez-Pulido A.J., Garonna A., Facella P., Daddiego L., Lopez L., Vitiello A., Rao R., Corrado G., 2017. The transcriptional response to the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae) reveals extended differences between tolerant and susceptible olive (Olea europaea L.) varieties. Plos One 12(8): e0183050.

Saumitou-Laprade P., Vernet P., Vekemans X., Billiard S., Gallina S., Essalouh L., Mhaïs A., Moukhli A., El Bakkali A., Barcaccia G., Alagna F., Mariotti R., Cultrera N.G.M., Pandolfi S., Rossi M., Khadari B., Baldoni L., 2017. Elucidation of the genetic architecture of self-incompatibility in olive: evolutionary consequences and perspectives for orchard management. Evol. Appl. 10(9): 867-880.

Blazakis K.N., Kosma M., Kostelenos G., Baldoni L., Bufacchi M., Kalaitzis P., 2017. Description of olive morphological parameters by using open access software. Plant Meth. 13(1): 111.

Mariotti R., Cultrera N.G.M., Mousavi S., Baglivo F., Rossi M., Albertini E., Alagna F., Carbone F., Perrotta G., Baldoni L., 2016. Development, evaluation and validation of new EST-SSR markers in olive (Olea europaea L.). Tree Genet. Genomes 12(6): 120.

De Marchis F., Valeri M.C., Pompa A., Bouveret E., Alagna F., Grisan S., Stanzione V., Mariotti R., Cultrera N., Baldoni L., Bellucci M., 2016. Overexpression of the olive acyl carrier protein gene (OeACP1) produces alterations in fatty acid composition of tobacco leaves. Trans. Res. 25: 45-61.

Alagna F., Kallenbach M., Pompa A., De Marchis F., Rao R., Baldwin I.T., Bonaventure G., Baldoni L., 2016. Olive fruits infested with olive fly larvae respond with an ethylene burst and the emission of specific volatiles. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 58(4): 413-425.

Alagna F., Cirilli M., Galla G., Carbone F., Daddiego L., Facella P., Lopez L., Colao C., Mariotti R., Cultrera N., Rossi M., Barcaccia G., Baldoni L., Muleo R., Perrotta G., 2016. Transcript analysis and regulative events during flower development in olive (Olea europaea L.). PloS One 11(4): e0152943.

Alagna F., Geu-Flores F., Kries H., Panara F., Baldoni L., O’Connor S.E., Osbourn A., 2015. Identification and characterization of the iridoid synthase involved in the biosynthesis of oleuropein in olive (Olea europaea) fruits. J. Biol. Chem. 291: 5542-5554.

Lazović B., Adakalić M., Pucci C., Perović T., Bandelj D., Belaj A., Mariotti R., Baldoni L., 2016. Characterizing ancient and local olive germplasm from Montenegro. Sci. Hortic. 209: 117-123.

Torkzaban B., Kayvanjoo A.H., Ardalan A., Mousavi S., Mariotti R., Baldoni L., Ebrahimie E., Ebrahimi M., Hosseini-Mazinani M., 2015. Machine learning based classification of microsatellite variation: an effective approach for phylogeographic characterization of olive populations. PloS One 10(11): e0143465.

Hedayati V., Mousavi A., Razavi K., Cultrera N., Alagna F., Mariotti R., Hosseini-Mazinani M., Baldoni L., 2015. Polymorphisms in the AOX2 gene are associated with the rooting ability of olive cuttings. Plant Cell Rep. 34: 1151-1164.

Hosseini-Mazinani M., Mariotti R., Torkzaban B., Sheikh-Hassani M., Ataei S., Cultrera N.G.M., Pandolfi S., Baldoni L., 2014. High genetic diversity detected in olives beyond the boundaries of the Mediterranean sea. Plos One 9(4): e93146.

Mousavi S., Hosseini Mazinani M., Arzani K., Ydollahi 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. Genet. Resour. Crop Evol. 61: 775-785.

Cultrera N.G.M., Alagna F., Mariotti R., De Marchis F., Pompa A., Bellucci M., Baldoni L., 2014. Isolation and molecular characterization of three acyl carrier 5 protein genes in olive (Olea europaea L.). Tree Genet. Genomes 10: 895-909.

Barcaccia G., Botton A., GallaG., Ramina A., Muleo R., Baldoni L., Perrotta G., 2012. Comparative genomics for identifying flower organ identity genes in peach and olive. Acta Hortic. 967: 43-54.

Collani S., Galla G., Ramina A., Barcaccia G., Baldoni L., Alagna F., Càceres E.M., Muleo R., Perrotta G., 2012. Self-Incompatibility in olive: a new hypothesis on the S-locus genes controlling pollen-pistil interaction. Acta Hortic. 967: 133-140.

Imperato A., Corrado G., Alagna F., Varricchio P., Baldoni L., Rao R., 2012. Olive molecular response to attack of Bactrocera oleae: identification of up-regulated genes in infested olive fruits. Acta Hortic. 929: 125-128.

Bianco L., Alagna F., Baldoni L., Finnie C., Svensson B., Perrotta G., 2013. Proteome regulation during Olea europaea fruit ripening. PLoS One 8(1): e53563.

Alagna F., Mariotti R., Panara F., Caporali S., Urbani S., Veneziani G., Esposto S., Taticchi A., Rosati A., Rao R., Perrotta G., Servili M., Baldoni L., 2012. Olive phenolic compounds: metabolic and transcriptional profiling during fruit development. BMC Plant Biol. 12: 162.

Corrado G., Alagna F., Rocco M., Renzone G., Varricchio P., Coppola V., Coppola M., Garonna A., Baldoni L., Scaloni A., Rao R., 2012. Molecular interactions between the olive and the fruit fly Bactrocera oleae. BMC Plant Biol. 12: 86.

Rossi S., Calabretta A., Tedeschi T., Sforza S., Arcioni S., Baldoni L., Corradini R., Marchelli R., 2012. Selective recognition of DNA from olive leaves and olive oil by PNA and modified-PNA microarrays. Artif. DNA PNA & XNA 3(2): 1-10.

Rotondi A., Cultrera N.G.M., Mariotti R., Baldoni L., 2011. Genotyping and evaluation of local olive varieties of a climatically disfavoured region through molecular, morphological and oil quality parameters. Sci. Hortic. 130: 562-569.

Mariotti R., Cultrera N.G.M., Muñoz Díez C., Baldoni L., Rubini A., 2010. Identification of new polymorphic regions and differentiation of cultivated olives (Olea europaea L.) through plastome sequence comparison. BMC Pl. Biol. 10: 211.

Collani S., Moretto F., Galla G., Alagna F., Baldoni L., Muleo R., 2010. A new hypothesis on the mechanism of self-incompatibility occurring in olive (Olea europaea L.): isolation, characterization and expression studies of slg and srk genes as candidates for a sporophytic self-incompatibility system. J. Biotechnol. 150: S502-S502.

Belaj A., Muñoz-Diez C., Baldoni L., Satovic Z., Barranco D., 2010. Genetic diversity and relationships of wild and cultivated olives at regional level in Spain. Sci. Hortic. 124: 323-330.

Alagna F., D’Agostino N., Torchia L., Servili M., Rao R., Pietrella M., Giuliano G., Chiusano M.L., Baldoni L., Perrotta G., 2009. Comparative 454 pyrosequencing of transcripts from two olive genotypes during fruit development. BMC Genomics 10: 399.

Galla G., Barcaccia G., Ramina A., Collani S., Alagna F., Baldoni L., Cultrera N.G.M., Martinelli F., Sebastiani L., Tonutti P., 2009. Computational annotation of genes differentially expressed along olive fruit development. BMC Plant Biol. 9: 128.

Baldoni L., Cultrera N.G.M., Mariotti R., Ricciolini C., Arcioni S., Vendramin G.G., Buonamici A., Porceddu A., Sarri V., Ojeda M.A., Trujillo I., Rallo L., Belaj A., Perri E., Salimonti A., Muzzalupo I., Casagrande A., Lain O., Messina R., Testolin R., 2009. A consensus list of microsatellite markers for olive genotyping. Mol. Breed. 24(3): 213-231.

Muleo R., Colao M.C., Miano D., Cirilli M., Intrieri M.C., Baldoni L., Rugini E., 2009. Mutation scanning and genotyping by High-Resolution DNA Melting Analysis in olive germplasm. Genome 52(3): 252-260.

Consolandi C., Palmieri L., Severgnini M., Maestri E., Marmiroli N., Agrimonti C., Baldoni L., Donini P., De Bellis G., Castiglioni B., 2008. A procedure for olive oil traceability and authenticity: DNA extraction, Multiplex PCR and LDR-Universal Array analysis. Eur. Food Res. Technol. 227: 1429-1438.

Belaj A., Munoz-Diez C.N., Baldoni L., Porceddu A., Barranco D., Satovic Z., 2007. Genetic diversity and population structure of wild olives from the north-western Mediterranean assessed by SSR markers. Ann. Bot. 100: 449-458.

Consolandi C., Palmieri L., Doveri S., Maestri E., Marmiroli N., Reale S., Lee D., Baldoni L., Tosti N., De Bellis G., Castiglioni B., 2007. Olive variety identification by ligation detection reaction in a universal array format. J. Biotechnol. 129: 565-574.

Baldoni L., Tosti N., Ricciolini C., Belaj A., Arcioni S., Pannelli G., Germanà M.A., Mulas M., Porceddu A., 2006. Genetic structure of wild and cultivated olives in the Central Mediterranean Basin. Ann. Bot. 98: 935-942.

Sarri V., Baldoni L., Porceddu A., Cultrera N.G.M., Contento A., Frediani M., Belaj A., Trujillo I., Cionini P.G., 2006. Microsatellite markers are powerful tools for discriminating among olive cultivars and assigning them to geographically defined populations. Genome 49(12): 1606-1615.

Angiolillo A., Reale S., Pilla F., Baldoni L., 2006. Molecular analysis of olive cultivars in the Molise region of Italy. Genet. Res. Crop Evol. 53: 289-295.

Belaj A., Rallo L. Trujillo I., Baldoni L., 2004. Using RAPD and AFLP markers to distinguish individuals obtained by clonal selection of ’Arbequina’ and ’Manzanilla de Sevilla’ olive. HortSci. 39(7): 1566-1570.

La Rosa R., Angiolillo A., Rallo L., Guerrero C., Pellegrini M., Besnard G., Bervillé A., Martin A., Baldoni L., 2003. A first genetic linkage map of olive (Olea europaea L.) cultivars using RAPD and AFLP markers. Theor. Appl. Genet. 106: 1273-1282.

Rotondi A., Magli M., Ricciolini C., Baldoni L., 2003. Morphological and molecular analyses for the characterization of a group of Italian olive cultivars. Euphytica 132(2): 129-137.

Rallo P., Tenzer I., Gessler C., Baldoni L., Dorado G., Martin A., 2003. Transferability of olive microsatellite loci across the genus Olea. Theor. Appl. Genet. 107: 940-946.

Belaj A., Satovic Z., Cipriani G., Baldoni L., Testolin R., Rallo L., Trujillo I., 2003. Comparative study of the discriminating capacity of RAPD, AFLP and SSR markers and of their effectiveness in establishing genetic relationships in olive. Theor. Appl. Genet. 107(4): 736-744.

Contento A., Ceccarelli M., Gelati M.T., Maggini F., Baldoni L., Cionini P.G., 2002. Diversity of Olea genotypes and the origin of cultivated olives. Theor. Appl. Genet. 104: 1229-1238.

González-Lamothe R., Segua R., Trapero A., Baldoni L., Botella M.A., Valpuesta V., 2002. Phylogeny of the fungus Spilocaea oleagina, the causal agent of Peacock Leaf Spot in Olive. FEMS Micribiol. Lett. 210: 149-155.

Baldoni L., Guerrero C., Sossey-Aloui K., Abbott A.G., Angiolillo A., Lumaret R., 2002. Phylogenetic relationships among Olea species based on nucleotide variation at a non-coding chloroplast DNA region. Plant Biol. 4: 346-351.

Lumaret R., Amane M., Ouazzani N., Baldoni L., 2000. Chloroplast DNA variation in the cultivated and wild olive taxa of the genus Olea L. Theor. Appl. Genet. 101: 547-553.


Selected Publications

(full list available at CNR People)

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