Germplasm Database

Linguistic Islands and Plant Genetic Resources

Traditional harvest in the Arbereshe community (Albanian linguistic island of southern Italy).

A project about collecting and safeguarding crop genetic resources in Italian linguistic Islands by the Istitute of Biosciences and Bioresources (IBBR/CNR) and the Crop Science Istitute of the Kassel University (Germany) started in 1996 with a first mission in Italian towns of Albanian origin (Basilicata regions). Later on, other regions (maily Calabria, Molise and Sicily) were visitedwith the same aim. The Albanian linguistic islands still preserve valuable crop genetic resources whic are nowadays severely threatened by genetic erosion.

The main results of such research activities have been gathered in the book: "Linguistic Islands and Plant Genetic Resources: the case of Arbereshe", edited by K. Hammer, G. Laghetti and D. Pignone and published in 2001 by Aracne, Rome, Italy (ISBN 978-88-548-3958-8).

Small Agricultural Islands and Plant Genetic Resources

An ancient and typical farmyard for threshing lentils with the aid of animals (Island of Linosa, Sicily, Italy)

A long-term, extensive research is ongoing at the IBBR with the aim of collecting the crop genetic resources of small agricultural islands of the Mediterranean sea, with particular attention devoted to crop landraces.

Up to present, research has focused on the small islands surrounding Sicily (Egadi, Pantelleria, Linosa and Lampedusa, Ustica, Eolie) and Sardinia (S. Pietro, S. Antioco, Asinara, Tavolara, the Maddalena archipelago), on the Tuscanian archipelago, the islands Ponziane (Latium), Ischia and Capri (Campania), the Tremiti islands in the Adriatic Sea, and several small islands in nothern Italy (Palmaria and S. Erasmo).

Such research resulted in the publication of several books and catalogues edited by the Italian National Council of Research (see e.g., "Small Agricultural Islands and Plant Genetic Resources", edited by K. Hammer and G. Laghetti. IGV, CNR, Bari, Italy, 2006 - ISBN 88-900347-4-2)