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About us


A combined -omics and bioinformatics approach to generate the atlas of Greek-oriented sweet cherry genetic resources

SweetBiOmics aims to create and integrate cutting edge genomic, epigenetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic and phenotypic data with advanced statistical and bioinformatics approaches focused on the analysis of the entire Greek sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) germplasm collection. A multi-disciplinary set of scientific expertise (bioinformatics, statistics, genetics, genomics, phenotyping, metabolomics, proteomics and breeding) from diverse University and research Institutes within Greece (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources and Institute of Applied Biosciences) will collaborate in order to create integrated statistical and bioinformatic pipelines that are userfriendly and end-user guided functionality to explore, integrate, and understand the new phenotypic, genomic, transcriptomic, epigenetics, proteomics and metabolomic data. SweetBiOmics relies onto an innovative approach, the first of its kind, involving the analysis and integration of a full range of –omics studies giving prominence at environmental conditions and to the quality aspects of sweet cherry production. SweetBiomics will consequently contribute towards the commercialization of new products with high added-value that will attract the social interest particularly for the Greek PDO cultivar ‘Tragana Edesis’.



SweetBiOmics will include a significant outreach and extension component to communicate its progress and results. The outreach plan is focused on developing materials and programming for three audiences: (a) cherry growers and processors who bring cherry products to consumers, (b) cherry breeders and geneticists, and (c) the general consuming public. The extension effort will provide information to all of these audiences on traits that are being incorporated into new varieties, explaining new advances in technology that accelerate the development of new and improved cherry cultivars, and the importance of these new traits and characteristics with regard to farming practices, product development and enhancement, and market acceptance. These materials will be disseminated through trade journals, short videos, internet, regional extension newsletters and listervs, and extension presentations at industry technical meetings. The fine phenotypic characterization of agronomic adaptive traits of the studied local cultivars, in close relationship with climate change impacts, will contribute to the economic sustainability of the production systems in two ways: (a) by helping growers in the choice of the best adapted varieties; (b) by anticipating impacts, through predictive modeling approaches, which will be integrated into economic assessment of productive systems, and risk management approaches. The economic impact of this project will become visible in the medium-long term due to the perennial nature of cherry species, and to their long juvenility period.

The scientific impact is represented, in the plant science field, by (a) a broad vision of sweet cherry genetic diversity in Greece (b) the identification of molecular markers related to fruit quality and functional traits, useful for the selection of improved genotypes, (c) comparative analysis of physiological data combined with phenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics analysis to gain a broader systems perspective in the cherry genetic resources in Greece, (d) the development a sweet cherry reference database (RNA-seq atlas) for gene expression profiling in normal tissue by next-generation sequencing, and (e) the development of multiple -omic platforms. One of the most important additional scientific impacts of this project is that the phenotypic, biochemical and molecular characterization of the Greek-originated cultivars will allow their use into future breeding programs.


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    Aliki Xanthopoulou

    Dr. Aliki Xanthopoulou (AX-Female) (PI; Coordinator-female), agriculture, gained her PhD that focused on fruit morphology studies of Cucurbita pepo.
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    Maria Manioudaki

    Dr. Maria Manioudaki (MM- female; co-applicant), bioinformatics, gained her PhD in the study of transcriptional regulatory networks shaped during stress perturbations providing a predictive model for transcription factor-gene interactions.
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    Evangellos Karagiannis

    Evangellos Karagiannis (EK-Male) is a PhD candidate at Laboratory of Pomology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
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    Michail Michailidis

    Michail Michailidis (MiM-Male) is a Ph.D. Student of Pomology in the Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece (AUTH).
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    Anna-Maria Farsakoglou

    Anna-Maria Farsakoglou (AMF-Female) is a Ph.D. candidate at the laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH).
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    Eirini Bosmali

    Eirini Bosmali (EB-Female) is a Ph.D. candidate at the laboratory of Food Science at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH).
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    Athanassios Molassiotis

    Dr. Athanassios Molassiotis (AM-Male) is Associate Professor of Pomology in the Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece (AUTH).
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    Ioannis Ganopoulos

    Dr. Ioannis Ganopoulos (IG-Male) is researcher of Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources- Hellenic Agricultural Organization Demeter and has a scientific background on plants biotechnology on genetics and genomics
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    Panagiotis Madesis

    Dr. Panagiotis Madesis (PM-Male) is principle investigator in Institute of Applied Biosciences (CERTH) with scientific topic on the applications of modern genetics, genomics, proteomics and metabolic technology
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    Filippos (Phil) A. Aravanopoulos

    Dr. Filippos (Phil) A. Aravanopoulos (FA-Male) http://users.auth.gr/~aravanop/, Professor of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding will be the FGL-AUTH Local Scientific Responsible Project Coordinator
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    Irini Nianiou-Obeidat

    Dr. Irini Nianiou-Obeidat (INO-Female) is Associate Professor in Laboratory of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, School of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Environment Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece (AUTH).
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    Evangelia Avramidou

    Dr. Evangelia Avramidou (EA-Female) is a researcher of Hellenic Agricultural Organization Demeter interested in plant biodiversity, plant molecular population genetics and epigenetics.
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    Georgia Tanou

    Dr. Georgia Tanou (GT-Female) has selected as researcher in the field of Fruit Science for NAGREF (National Agricultural Foundation of Greece).
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    Eirini Sarrou

    Dr. Eirini Sarrou (ES-Female) is researcher of Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources- Hellenic Agricultural Organization Demeter.
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    Sotirios Tsaftaris

    Dr. Sotirios Tsaftaris (ST-Male) is currently holding a Chancellor's Fellow (at a Senior Lecturer level) position at the University of Edinburgh.
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    Stefan Martens

    Dr. Stefan Martens (SM-Male) is principle investigator and group leader of Biotechnology of Natural Products Group
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    Athanasios Tsaftaris

    Emeritus Prof. Athanasios Tsaftaris (AT-Male) born in Drama city, studied in Thessaloniki and North Carolina
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    Kazantzis Konstantinos

    Mr. Kazantzis Konstantinos (KK-Male) is an agriculturist of Technological Education (pomologist), has graduated from the Technological Education Institution of Larissa and is an educational trainer of adults.
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    Christos Kissoudis

    Dr. Christos Kissoudis (CK-Male) holds a BSc and an MSc, with a specialization in Plant Genetics and Breeding, from Aristotle University. He obtained his PhD from Wageningen University (NL)
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