Director of Research

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Phone: +39 0371 404751


  • Graduation (MSc): Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Perugia
  • One-year postgraduate courses in Plant Genetic Resources and Applied Statistics: Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques, Gembloux (Belgium)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): University of Wales, Aberystwyth (UK)

Research positions

  • Research Associate at ICARDA, Aleppo (Syria) (1985-1987)
  • Scientist from 1988, Senior scientist from 1997, and Director of Research from 2002, at CREA in Lodi
  • Visiting scientist, S.R. Noble Foundation, Ardmore (USA) (2012-2013)

Main research topics

  • Genetics and breeding of forage legumes (alfalfa; clovers; etc.)
  • Genetics and breeding of feed grain legumes (pea; white lupin; etc.)
  • Characterization, evaluation and exploitation of plant genetic resources
  • Plant stress tolerance (drought; low temperature; competition; grazing)
  • Modelling and exploiting G x E interactions
  • Marker-assisted and genomic selection
  • Evolutionary and farmer-participatory breeding

Main scientific responsibilities

  • Leader of breeding programs on alfalfa, white clover, pea, white lupin, soybean
  • Coordinator, FP7-ArimNet project REFORMA
  • Leader, WP Genetics and new breeding tools, FP7 project LEGATO
  • Leader, WP Genomic and farmer-participatory selection, PRIMA project CAMA  
  • Task Leader, Horizon project REMIX
  • Task Leader, Horizon project LIVESEED
  • Alfalfa work coordinator, Horizon project INVITE
  • Task Leader, FP7-Core Organic project COBRA
  • Leader, Italy-USA bilateral cooperation project GENALFA
  • Leader, WP Drought resistance and perenniality, FP6 project PERMED
  • Editorial board: Legume Sci.; J. Crop Improv.; It. J. Agron.
  • Scientific societies: Int. Legume Soc. (President from 2019; Ex. Com. member from 2013); Int. Lupin Assoc. (Ex. Com. member from 2019); EUCARPIA Fodder crops (Sci. Board member 2011-2019)

Scientific publications

About 270 (excluding abstracts), including 2 books and 112 papers on high impact factor journals (ISI class Q1 or Q2); h-index 37, i-10 index 104 (Google Scholar). List:


Commercial varieties ‘Costanza’ and 'Alfitalia' of alfalfa, and ‘Giga’ and 'Trefor' of white clover. Varieties 'Pantera rosa' and 'Pifor' of pea, 'Arsenio' of white lupin and 'Tano' of faba bean under evaluation for registration

Teaching activity

  • About 255 lecturing hours in international courses by FAO, IAO, IAMZ, IAEA, Univ. of Lanzhou
  • Contract professor of 'Statistical methods for agricultural sciences', Univ. of Milan (1999-2002; 240 lecturing hours)
  • Director of the FAO-IAO courses 'Exploiting plant adaptation and biodiversity for higher and more stable yields' (2004-2006)

Recent selected publications

  1. Annicchiarico, P., N. Nazzicari, M. Laouar, I. Thami-Alami, M. Romani, L. Pecetti (2020). Development and proof-of-concept application of genome-enabled selection for pea grain yield under severe terminal drought. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21(7), 2414
  2. Annicchiarico, P., P. Bottazzi, F. Ruozzi, L. Russi, L. Pecetti (2020). Lucerne cultivar adaptation to Italian geographic areas is affected crucially by the selection environment and encourages the breeding for specific adaptation. Euphytica 216, 50
  3. Annicchiarico, P., N. Nazzicari, B. Ferrari, N. Harzic, A.M. Carroni, M. Romani, L. Pecetti (2019). Genomic prediction of grain yield in contrasting environments for white lupin genetic resources. Mol. Breed. 39, 142
  4. Annicchiarico P.; Collins R.P.; De Ron A.M.; Firmat C.; Litrico I.; Hauggaard-Nielsen H. (2019) - Do we need specific breeding for legume-based mixtures? Adv. Agron. 157, 141-215
  5. Annicchiarico P.; Nazzicari N.: Pecetti L.; Romani M.; Russi L. (2019) - Pea genomic selection for Italian environments. BMC Genomics 20, 603
  6. Annicchiarico P.; Russi L.; Romani M.; Pecetti L.; Nazzicari N. (2019) - Farmer-participatory vs. conventional market-oriented breeding of inbred crops using phenotypic and genome-enabled approaches: a pea case study. Field Crops Res. 232, 30-39
  7. Annicchiarico P.; Romani M.; Pecetti L. (2018) - White lupin variation for adaptation to severe drought stress. Plant Breed. 137, 782-789
  8. Annicchiarico P.; Thami Alami I.; Abbas K.; Pecetti L.; Melis R.A.M.; Porqueddu C. (2017) - Performance of legume-based annual forage crops in three semi-arid Mediterranean environments. Crop Pasture Sci. 68, 932-941
  9. Annicchiarico P. (2017) - Feed legumes for truly sustainable crop-animal systems. It. J. Agron. 12, 880
  10. Annicchiarico P.; Romani M.; Cabassi G.; Ferrari B. (2017) - Diversity in a pea (Pisum sativum) world collection for key agronomic traits in a rain-fed environment of southern Europe. Euphytica 213, 245
  11. Pecetti L.; Annicchiarico P. (2017) - Assessing and overcoming genetic trade-offs in breeding grazing-tolerant lucerne. Crop Pasture Sci. 68, 952-957
  12. Książkiewicz M.; Nazzicari N.; Yang H.; Nelson M.N.; Renshaw D.; Rychel S.; Ferrari B.; Carelli M.; Tomaszewska M.; Stawiński S.; Naganowska B.; Wolko B.; Annicchiarico P. (2017) - A high-density consensus linkage map of white lupin highlights synteny with narrow-leafed lupin and provides markers tagging key agronomic traits. Sci. Reports 7, 15335
  13. Annicchiarico P.; Nazzicari N.; Wei Y; Pecetti L.; Brummer E.C. (2017) - Genotyping-by-sequencing and its exploitation for forage and cool-season grain legume breeding. Front. Plant Sci. 8, 679
  14. Biazzi E.; NazzicariN.; Pecetti L.; Brummer E.C; Palmonari A.; Tava A.; Annicchiarico P. (2017) - Genome-wide association mapping and genomic selection for alfalfa (Medicago sativa) forage quality traits. PLoS ONE 12(1), e0169234
  15. Annicchiarico P.; Nazzicari N.; Pecetti L.; Romani M.; Ferrari B.; Wei Y.; Brummer E.C. (2017) - GBS-based genomic selection for pea grain yield under severe terminal drought. Plant Genome 10, 10.3835/plantgenome2016.07.0072
  16. Annicchiarico P.; Nazzicari N.; Ananta A.; Carelli M.; Wei Y.; Brummer E.C. (2016) - Assessment of cultivar distinctness in alfalfa: a comparison of genotyping-by-sequencing, SSR marker and morphophysiological observations. Plant Genome 9, 10.3835/plantgenome2015.10.0105
  17. Annicchiarico P.; Nazzicari N.; Li X.; Wei Y.; Pecetti L.; Brummer E.C. (2015) - Accuracy of genomic selection for alfalfa biomass yield in different reference populations. BMC Genomics 16, 1020
  18. Annicchiarico P. (2015) - Alfalfa forage yield and leaf/stem ratio: narrow-sense heritability, genetic correlation, and parent selection procedures. Euphytica 205, 409-420
  19. Annicchiarico P.; Barrett B.; Brummer E.C.; Julier B.; Marshall A.H. (2015) - Achievements and challenges in improving temperate perennial forage legumes. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 34, 327-380
  20. Döring T.F.; Annicchiarico P.; Clarke s.; Haigh Z.; Jones H.E.; Pearce H.; Snape J.; Zhan J.; Wolfe M.S. (2015) - Yield and yield stability of composite cross populations, variety mixtures and pure lines of winter wheat in organic and conventional cropping systems. Field Crops Res. 183, 235-245