Three-dimensional view of the DNA molecule. Click on the image for more details

Sciences Disciplinary Sector AGR/04

Geographic location of the Research Center for Horticulture:

4° 38'54.93" North Latitude; 14° 53'29.28" East Longitude; 34 m in altitude sea level

Research Department

Research Project

Scientific publications

Curriculum vitae


Scientific societies

International Congresses

National Congresses

Research Institute for Vegetable Crops (ISOR), headquartered in Pontecagnano (Salerno) and national jurisdiction, was established by Presidential Decree No. 1318 on 23.11.1967 reorganization of agricultural experimentation, which involved 23 other Institutes, replacing the suppressed Agricultural Experimental stations of Milan and Ascoli Piceno.
Research Institute for Vegetable Crops, like the other Experimental Institutes, is an institute of science and technology that has the task of providing to research and agricultural experimentation.
It has degree equal to university scientific institutes.
It is a public corporation under the supervision and protection of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the current Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MiPAF).
The Research Institute for Horticulture, located in Pontecagnano (Salerno) provides basically out studies and research on the genetic improvement of species and varieties of vegetable crops, the cultivation technique of the same, including the protected crops and that hydroponics, even for the next phase of preservation, according to the demands posed by the development of the agricultural economy in the context of domestic and international markets.
The Institute is divided into six sections including 4 operating stations located in Pontecagnano. It has a central office includes an Office of Administration and four Operative sections located in Pontecagnano: The two sections operating devices, are located respectively in Montanaso Lombardo (Lodi) and Monsampolo del Tronto (Ascoli Piceno).
The Research Institute for Vegetable Crops, with the DPR 23/11/1967 nš 1318, replaces the Agricultural Experimental Station of horticulture of Milan and the Agricolture Experimental Station of Ascoli Piceno, the assets of which physical, cultural and scientific, with the experiences multi-decadal, are inherited by the Institute.
The first Director of the Experimental Institute for Vegetable Crops Pontecagnano was Prof. Sergio Porcelli, a distinguished agronomist, who became the director of the prestigious Institute in 1974, after winning the public national competition. He came from the Agronomic Research Institute of Bari, where, very young, as an resercher, had formed, receiving the scientific and cultural heritage of illustrious scientist such as C. Ulpiani, E. Pantanelli, V. Carrante. Main merit of the Prof. Porcelli was the acquisition of land and building the experimental Institute, envy and pride of worldwide research in agriculture. In the realization of this project, Prof. Porcelli could secure the cooperation of the Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Domenico Martucci, then Chairman of the Board of the Institute, the Administrative Director Dr. Mario De Maffutiis and, for the scientific and technical part, of the researchers Dr. Francesco Fiume and Dr. Raffaele D'Amore.

With D.L. n° 454 del 17/10/1999 Reserch Institute for Vegetable Crops belongs to Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture (CRA), which gathered Institutes experimental (IRSA) supervised by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

International Headquarters

Entrance of the Institute Front institute
Entrance of Research Institute for Vegetable Crops - Headquarters, where are located the administrative offices and the four Sections Operative Central. Institute Entrance; on the first floor, from left: the Offices of the researchers, the main entrance and laboratories; the second floor: the library and the administrative offices.


Library Library
The library with specialized books, journals and copies of all publications of the Institute. The library where you look at the location with the Scientific journals and national technical.

The Office of the researcher and the Center for Informatics

Office of the researcher Center for Informatics
The researcher office, furnished simply but functionally. There are normally the workplace, 1 or 2 classifiers, a wardrobe, a typewriter or PC and other comforts that allow for productive and peaceful conduct of the research. The computer science Center consists of a PC computer and various accessories for connecting to the Internet, for tabulation and statistical processing of the research data, for the preparation of presentations at conferences and scientific publications and other important services.


microscopy, stereo and microphotography stereomicroscope for laminar flow
The department of optical microscopy of the Section of Biology, Physiology and Plant Prorection includes a microscope that magnifies up to 1000-1500x (immersion objective), a stereo microscope to observe the three-dimensional preparation and the complete equipment for photomicrography. A stereomicroscope used under horizontal laminar flow. It is a valid help, for example, in the operations of isolation of the fungal pathogen, in obtaining the culture monoconidica and in the purification of the fungus by the technique of single hypha.
Unit of inclusion into paraffin and Cytocentrifuge microtome
The unit for inclusion in paraffin to prepare a rapidly object included in a little cube of paraffin. The Cytocentrifuge for the preparation of the slide, where the object is particularly thin, without special handling, as it is crushed on the glass slide by centrifugal force alone. The microtome allows for the preparation of the slides included in paraffin subtly and in a sequential manner.

I Laboratories

Full bench, adjustable closet for cycles of temperature and light, analytical balance, reversescope and other equipment
A partial view of the laboratory bench, a small autoclave, the glassware washer and a water distiller
Full bench, closet to cycles of temperature and light, reversescope and other equipment standards. There are also tools for ecophysiology studies such as Licor 4,000 for the measurement of the photosynthesis.
Equipment for PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
Equipment for PCR. Dionex for analytical chemistry of anions e cations.
Chromatography in HPLC Seed analysis laboratory and horizontal laminar flow
Chromatography in HPLC.
Gas chromatography HPLC. HPLC is a sophisticated method of analysis that has various applications, such as purification, separation and identification of the substances present in a solution. Its use requires the knowledge of the methods to measure the efficiency of the separation column, the various types of mobile phase (isocratic elution, gradient, and polytypic), the interactions established between the sample solution and the stationary phase and mobile phase, which indicate the response of the detectors with the peaks of the chromatogram, their mechanism of operation and their limits.
The analysis laboratory of the seeds and the horizontal laminar flow are the Laboratory of Micropropagation and in Vitro Cultures including pH meters, autoclaves, the culture chamber and climatic chambers for the first acclimatization of plants. In the latter it is possible to control and program diurnal cycles of temperature (5-45 °C), of light and darkness, relative humidity. In other cells, it is possible to realize, by means of microprocessors, different lighting levels, cycles of temperature and humidity. Also available is a cold room for the preservation of plant material and germplasm.

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC; formerly referred to as high-pressure liquid chromatography), is a technique in analytic chemistry used to separate the components in a mixture, to identify each component, and to quantify each component. It relies on pumps to pass a pressurized liquid solvent containing the sample mixture through a column filled with a solid adsorbent material. Each component in the sample interacts slightly differently with the adsorbent material, causing different flow rates for the different components and leading to the separation of the components as they flow out the column.
HPLC has been used for medical (e.g. detecting vitamin D levels in blood serum), legal (e.g. detecting performance enhancement drugs in urine), research (e.g. separating the components of a complex biological sample, or of similar synthetic chemicals from each other), and manufacturing (e.g. during the production process of pharmaceutical and biological products) purposes.
Chromatography can be described as a mass transfer process involving adsorption. HPLC relies on pumps to pass a pressurized liquid and a sample mixture through a column filled with a sorbent, leading to the separation of the sample components. The active component of the column, the sorbent, is typically a granular material made of solid particles (e.g. silica, polymers, etc.), 2–50 micrometers in size. The components of the sample mixture are separated from each other due to their different degrees of interaction with the sorbent particles. The pressurized liquid is typically a mixture of solvents (e.g. water, acetonitrile and/or methanol) and is referred to as a "mobile phase". Its composition and temperature play a major role in the separation process by influencing the interactions taking place between sample components and sorbent. These interactions are physical in nature, such as hydrophobic (dispersive), dipole–dipole and ionic, most often a combination thereof.
HPLC is distinguished from traditional ("low pressure") liquid chromatography because operational pressures are significantly higher (50–350 bar), while ordinary liquid chromatography typically relies on the force of gravity to pass the mobile phase through the column. Due to the small sample amount separated in analytical HPLC, typical column dimensions are 2.1–4.6 mm diameter, and 30–250 mm length. Also HPLC columns are made with smaller sorbent particles (2–50 micrometer in average particle size). This gives HPLC superior resolving power when separating mixtures, which is why it is a popular chromatographic technique.
The schematic of an HPLC instrument typically includes a sampler, pumps, and a detector. The sampler brings the sample mixture into the mobile phase stream which carries it into the column. The pumps deliver the desired flow and composition of the mobile phase through the column. The detector generates a signal proportional to the amount of sample component emerging from the column, hence allowing for quantitative analysis of the sample components. A digital microprocessor and user software control the HPLC instrument and provide data analysis. Some models of mechanical pumps in a HPLC instrument can mix multiple solvents together in ratios changing in time, generating a composition gradient in the mobile phase. Various detectors are in common use, such as UV/Vis, photodiode array (PDA) or based on mass spectrometry. Most HPLC instruments also have a column oven that allows for adjusting the temperature the separation is performed at.

Schematic representation of an HPLC unit. (1) Solvent reservoirs, (2) Solvent degasser, (3) Gradient valve, (4) Mixing vessel for delivery of the mobile phase, (5) High-pressure pump, (6) Switching valve in "inject position", (6') Switching valve in "load position", (7) Sample injection loop, (8) Pre-column (guard column), (9) Analytical column, (10) Detector (i.e. IR, UV), (11) Data acquisition, (12) Waste or fraction collector.

Some rules of conduct for those who attend the workshops

The laboratory cultures in vitro does not present risks of particular gravity for the safety of users, however, certain rules of behavior are a must.
The area is more risky where the laminar flow hood, because, in it, find a place and a Bunsen burner stoves for dry sterilization of tools that are the main source of risk.
The lamp burner has the function of allowing the sterilization of objects that can not be introduced into the incinerator, such as containers in glass or plastic, has a flame, and as such are all necessary precautions owing in such cases.
The description of the operations to be carried out under the hood will highlight the risks and how to act in case of accident: It is possible to improve the knowledge of criteria and rules of conduct for the safety and risk prevention da adottare in un Laboratorio di un Istituto di Ricerca, facendo riferimento a quelli stabiliti per i Laboratori del Dipartimento di Chimica dell'Universitā della Calabria.

Experimental Farm

West side of the farm North-West side of the farm
West side of the experimental farm. It is observed from the left the electrical room with the UPS, which ensures continuously the procurement of electricity, the experimental fields and greenhouses plastic. Experimental Farm's side facing northwest. We observe the plastic tunnels and the greenhouse glass, in which you can adjust the temperature and humidity, as well as the intensity of light during the day by shading nets.
Green house complex Inside the greenhouse
Further greenhouse complex in glass or plastic on the north side of the company experimental. At the center is observed the covered area intended to regulate, by means of a burner, the heating of greenhouses. The glass greenhouse is equipped with benches on which takes place the breeding of plants directly (using the basal heating) or in pots. We observe the humidity controller and heating pipes.

Some safety standards relating to the behavior in the experimental

Within the framework of research and experimentation the Experimental Institute for Horticulture, also fall campaign activities, both as regards the development of experimental fields, both for the collection of samples of various kinds (soil, plant material , insects, etc.). During the work in the country where the risks may incur operators are extremely varied as farm work can be very different. In carrying out work activities both in open field or in greenhouses and tunnels in which they work, sometimes with personal unstructured (fellows, graduate students and so on.) Or inexperienced (casual workers), the technicians and the head of security pledged to inform risk in which you may incur during such activities, and in the correct way to operate to prevent them; also have worked to provide personal devices for the safety of the current legislation on safety helmet, boots with iron tip, leather gloves, overalls and, during any pesticide treatments, disposable overalls, masks and rubber gloves.
Regarding the use of pesticides for the purpose of safety and prevention well you have to know the regulations governing the purchase, transport, storage and use of all products lozenges in agriculture and in particular pesticide.
To rationalize the use of the material required for transportation and storage of samples, technical staff is committed to coordinate the purchase and reuse of this material (paper bags, plastic, cloth and containers of various kinds).
In the context of the different experimental tests there is provided to the photographic documentation of the fields, the plants object of testing, and the cataloging of all the collected material. Farming activities may require the use of equipment such as trimmers, cultivators for the correct use of which requires specific knowledge and for which the technical exercise careful control to prevent them from being used by inexperienced staff, and verify that the machines are certified and equipped with safety devices, and these devices are working.
Wanting to deepen prevention and safety in agriculture is possible to read a Guida pratica per le piccole aziende a conduzione familiare, (Practical guide for small family farms) by the University of Molise, and the Ministry of Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention, Department of Campobasso.
Those working in agriculture, also in contact with the ground is more than the other subjected to a rischio biologico, because the agricultural activity takes place mainly outdoors, in close contact with nature, but also in small rooms, such as greenhouses and plastic tunnels where they settle details microclimate conditions. This report can lead to the development of diseases also Severe (infections, allergies or poisoning) caused by microorganisms that live, multiply and do their life cycle in the soil, or in animals, as well as heat stress or cold, in extreme situations, even serious damage to health. Agriculture is, then, a work activity requires the use of continuous macchine e la movimentazione manuale di carichi, con conseguenti rischi di infortuni (a volte anche molto gravi) e di malattie.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the exercise of agriculture is to cultivate the land, but also cultivate the safety and health. In particular, in a modern and technologically advanced agriculture, like that of an experimental farm, the farmer is a technician who came on, their own laboratory, with the "white coat".
Some sites that allow you to further studies on prevention and safety, with regard to protection of health in the workplace are given below:
Free Leaflets - Agriculture.

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© Fiume Francesco 2005