Agronomy

The Chair covers all horticultural areas and employs professors, assistants, researchers and other associates active in the field of fruit growing, viticulture and vegetable growing. We teach students of all three levels of the Bologna study of agronomy and horticulture, food science, landscape architecture, zootechnics and biotechnology. Students are introduced to the theoretical and applied aspects of technologies for growing fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants and grapes. In order to produce healthy and safe food, it is essential to apprehend the physiological processes of plant growth and development of the selected plant species and cultivars along with selected technologies adapted to the pedoclimatic conditions.

Research activity in the field of fruit growing focuses on several levels and study areas. The aim of the research is to uncover physiological processes linked with exposure to stress conditions. Moreover, the studies aim to elucidate natural regulation of growth in individual fruit species. Analyzes of primary and secondary metabolites and the hormonal status of plants represent the methodological basis. We are unmasking the connection between the internal quality of fruits of different fruit species and environmental conditions and technological measures. The mechanisms of resistance to diseases and pests are investigated in relation with the synthesis of phenolic compounds in leaves and fruits. Measurements of photosynthesis, transpiration and polyphenols enable us to evaluate the impact of rootstock on plant vigor and yield.

In the fields of viticulture and grapevine nursery, scientific and professional work covers the fields of ampelography (identification and description of grapevine varieties at the level of phenotyping and genotyping), selection and introduction of varieties (common and tolerant grapevine varieties as well as table grape varieties), varietal agro-ampelotechnics, sustainable grape production (technological measures and practices of integrated, organic and biodynamic grape production), the impacts of special practices on the quality and quantity of grapes and wines, all at the level of primary and secondary metabolism. The researchers are focused also in “terroir” factors and their impacts on the specifics, unique of grapes and wine and, last but not least, the presence, impacts and damage of pathogens (viruses, phytoplasmas, fungi, bacteria) on grapevine grafts, on vine growth and yield, and on the quantity and quality of grapes and wine.

In the field of vegetable growing, we study the mechanisms of nutrient uptake and distribution in the vegetable-soil-environment system with an emphasis on the quality of crops, such as their content of primary and secondary metabolites. We are determining the possibilities of producing functional vegetables with the addition of selenium. We are testing novel technologies in hydroponic cultivation, vegetable grafting and biotic protection. In the field of ornamental plants, we study the influence of secondary metabolites, such as anthocyanins or phenols, on the expression of color and other properties that affect the ornamental value of plants. On woody ornamental species, we test the optimal conditions for their propagation and the use of auxins and their metabolites in the process of root formation in cuttings.

We ensure the transfer of our scientific knowledge to practice, directly with numerous personal connections with Slovenian producers and more formally, through cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food. We test and introduce new cultivars of different fruit species and grapevine. Our team of experts has improved cultivation of chestnut seedlings by an introduction of propagation by green cuttings. We maintain a gene bank and help preserve old cultivars of apples, pears, cherries, walnuts and hazelnuts. Chair members are active in selection of nut species (walnuts, chestnuts) and grapevine. We participate in the adaptation of measures for integrated and organic grape production. Members of the horticulture section are introducing various new technologies for growing vegetables, in soil cultivation in protected areas and outdoors, as well as in soilless cultivation, with an emphasis on testing new cultivars.

Employees