CREA-ZA people

Paolo Annicchiarico


Director of Research
Centre for Animal Production and Aquaculture,
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA)
Address: viale Piacenza 29, 26900 Lodi, Italy
Phone: +39 0371 404751

Research positions

  • From Jan. 2002: Director of Research, CREA (formerly CRA and IRSA-Ist. Sper. Colture Foraggere), Lodi
  • May 1988 – Dec. 2001: Scientist and Senior Scientist, Istituto Sperimentale Colture Foraggere, Lodi
  • Oct. 1985 – Aug. 1987: Research associate at ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria

Other working periods abroad

  • Visiting scientist at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK, USA (Jul. 2012 – Jul. 2013)


  • Doctor of Philosophy: Univ. of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK (Feb. 1998; research work performed in Italy)
  • Advanced courses in Plant Genetic Resources and in Applied Statistics: Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques, Gembloux, Belgium (Sep. 1987 – Apr. 1988)
  • Graduation (MSc): Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Univ. of Perugia

Main research topics

  • Genetic improvement and genetic resources of feed grain legumes (pea; white lupin; soybean; faba bean; cowpea) and forage crops (alfalfa; white clover; red clover; sulla)
  • Tolerance to abiotic (drought; salinity; low temperatures) and biotic stresses (plant competition; grazing)
  • Genomic selection
  • Breeding strategies based on ecophysiological, evolutionary and farmer-participatory approaches
  • Breeding for organic systems
  • Genotype × environment interaction analysis and modelling of plant adaptation

Scientific publications

Plant varieties

  • Alfalfa: ‘Costanza’ (registered in 2006, patent EU37838); ‘Alfitalia’ (registered in 2018)
  • White clover: ‘Giga’ (registered in 2006; patent EU39807); ‘Trefor’ (registered in 2015)
  • Pea: ‘Pantera Rosa’ (registered in 2020); ‘Pifor’ (registered in 2022)
  • White lupin: ‘Arsenio’ (registered in 2023)
  • Faba bean: ‘Tano’ (registered in 2023)

International projects and coordination of national projects

  • FP7-EraNet “Resilient, water- and energy-efficient forage and feed crops for Mediterranean agricultural systems – REFORMA” (2012-2016). Project coordinator
  • MiPAAF “Genomic selection of grain and forage legumes for crop yield, drought tolerance and protein content – GENLEG” (2021-2023). Project coordinator
  • Horizon “Integrating breeding for IPM into the deployment landscape for wheat, potatoes and grain legumes – IPMorama” (2024 – 2028). CREA representative
  • Horizon “Breeding European legumes for increased sustainability – BELIS” (2023-2028). Leader of research work on pea (species representative), leader of the Task “New phenotyping tools and protocols”, and CREA representative
  • Horizon “Innovations in plant variety testing in Europe to foster the introduction of new varieties better adapted to varying biotic and abiotic conditions and to more sustainable crop management practices – INVITE” (2019-2023). Leader of research work on alfalfa (species representative)
  • Horizon “Co-constructing territorial and digital networks to value agrobiodiversity in quality plant-based food – DIVINFOOD” (2022-2027). CREA representative
  • Horizon “Developing intercropping for agrifood value chains and ecosystem services delivery in Europe and Southern countries – INTERCROPVALUES” (2022-2026).
  • Core Organic “Diversifying organic crop production to increase resilience – DIVERSILIENCE” (2022-2025). Leader of WP “Exploitation of heterogeneous material”, and CREA representative
  • PRIMA “Research-based participatory approaches for adopting conservation agriculture in the Mediterranean area – CAMA” (2020-2023). Leader of WP “Genomic and farmer-participatory selection of novel legume genotypes”
  • Horizon “Redesigning European cropping systems based on species mixtures – REMIX” (2017-2020). Leader of the Task “Novel breeding schemes for species mixtures”, and CREA representative
  • Horizon “Improving the performance of organic agriculture by boosting organic seed and plant breeding efforts across Europe – LIVESEED” (2017-2020). Leader of the Task “White lupin: breeding, and widening the genetic base by CCP and molecular approaches”, and CREA representative
  • FP7 “Legumes for the agriculture of tomorrow – LEGATO” (2014-2017). Leader of the WP “Genetics and new breeding tools”, and CREA representative
  • FP7-Core Organic “Coordinating organic plant breeding activities for diversity – COBRA” (2013-2016). Leader of the Task “Evolutionary and marker-assisted grain legume selection”, and CREA representative
  • FP6 “Improvement of native perennial forage plants for sustainability of Mediterranean farming systems – PERMED” (2004-2009). Leader of the WP “Germplasm drought tolerance, perenniality and water use efficiency”, and CREA representative
  • Bilateral Italy – USA (“di grande rilevanza” MAE) “Genomic selection in alfalfa – GENALFA” (2014-2015). Italian coordinator
  • Bilateral Italy – Algeria (MAE) “Applied durum wheat research for Algeria – Breeding and improved variety adaptation” (1998-2002). Responsible for planning, data analysis and scientific reporting of the research work


  • Over 270 lecturing hours in international courses organized by CIHEAM, IAO, FAO, IAEA, Lanzhou Univ.
  • Contract professor of “Statistical methods for agricultural sciences”, Univ. of Milan (1999-2002; 240 lecturing hours)
  • Director of FAO-IAO international training courses “Exploiting plant adaptation and biodiversity for higher and more stable yields” (2004-2006)

Other major responsibilities

  • President (2019-2023), member of the Executive Committee (from 2013) and the Scientific Committee (from 2011) of the International Legume Society
  • Member of the Executive Committee (from 2019) and the Scientific Committee (from 2015) of the International Lupin Association (from 2015)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of EUCARPIA Forage Crops & Amenity Grass Section (2011-2019)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the journals Legume Sci. (2019-2023), It. J. Agron. (from 2006), J. Crop Improv. (2004-2022), Legume Perspect. (2013-2019) e Grain Legumes (2011-2013)
  • Member of the EIP Focus Group on Protein Crops of the European Commission (2013-2014)
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (IAS) of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain
  • Evaluator of national scientific projects for France, Germany, Portugal and Serbia
  • Coordinator of the Crop Improvement section of CREA-FLC (2010-2017), e current member of the Scientific Committee of the Centre

Selected recent publications

  • Kang, Y., A. Seminario, M. Udvardi, P. Annicchiarico (2022). Physiological and biochemical adaptive traits support the specific breeding of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) for severely drought-stressed or moisture-favourable environments. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science (doi: 10.1111/jac.12600).
  • Książkiewicz, M., N. Nazzicari, H. Yang, M.N. Nelson, D. Renshaw, S. Rychel, B. Ferrari, M. Carelli, M. Tomaszewska, S. Stawiński, B. Naganowska, B. Wolko, P. Annicchiarico (2017). A high-density consensus linkage map of white lupin highlights synteny with narrow-leafed lupin and provides markers tagging key agronomic traits. Sci. Rep. 7, 15335.

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