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).

Main activities:

  • Monitoring of the olive cultivation efficiency as a tool for the mitigation of desertification caused by climate change.
  • The genomics of olive under salt stress condition.
  • Analysis of cross-compatibility between olive varieties and identification of the locus that controls the character of incompatibility by genetic mapping in inter-varietal segregation for incompatibility groups.
  • The identification of polymorphisms in functional genes among varieties and wild olives and the role of these genes on artificial selection.
  • Molecular characterization of olive genetic resources through SSR and SNP markers.

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

Main activities:

  • Metabolomics of several olive cultivars especially on the fatty acids, phenolic compounds, tocopherols, sterols and squalene, under different environmental conditions.
  • Evaluation of the health aspects of EVOO obtained from "minor" cultivars representative of olive diversity in Perugia province.

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

Main activities:

  • Identification of an olive collection applying standard simple sequence repeats and novel expressed sequence tag markers.
  • The physiological, epigenetic, and genetic response of olive under salt stress conditions.

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 olive under different environments.
  • Cross-breeding aimed at selecting the new cultivars facing climatic constraints.
  • Metabolomics of a wide collection of olive genotypes.

Participation in international projects

  • BeXyl - Beyond Xylella, Integrated Management Strategies for Mitigating Xylella fastidiosa impact in Europe. European Commission CALL: HORIZON-CL6-2021-FARM2FORK-01, (2022-2025)
  • BIOMEnext - Modelling integrated biodiversity-based next-generation Mediterranean farming systems. PRIMA 2021 Call (2022-2025)
  • ENI CBC MED “LIVINGAGRO - Cross Border Living Laboratories for Agroforestry” CUP B84I18010540006
  • OLIVE4CLIMATE - LIFE, European union - LIFE15 CCM/IT/000141.
  • BIORESOURCES FOR OLIVICULTURE - BEFORE, Horizon2020 MSCA-RISE Grant Agreement # 645595


  • 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 the 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


  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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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