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SAFE – University of Basilicata

School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences (SAFE),
University of Basilicata


The research activity of SAFE (School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences), University of Basilicata, is mainly addressed to the study of complex systems; in particular, some research lines concern the study of genetic diversity and resources for the ex-situ / in-situ conservation of genetic resources collected in the territory, for the establishment of germplasm collections and core collections.

University of Basilicata Yeast Collection (UBYC)
UBYC is the yeast collection of SAFE. It holds about 2,000 yeast strains, isolated from different food matrixes, such as grape must, sourdoughs, cheese and other natural sources, coming from Italian and foreign areas. The yeasts were characterized for genetic variability and for phenotypic parameters, useful for biotechnological applications, and all the data are carefully stored. Some of these strains were tested as starter cultures for production at pilot scale of fermented food and beverages, such as wine, beer and bread, in the framework of activities financed by research projects. The yeast strains are stored in collection in different formulations in order to preserve viability and genetic stability, which were periodically checked.
At UBYC it is devoted a research team with skills in microbiology, food technology and biotechnological areas. This expertise is useful not only for activities in the research laboratories, but also for technological transfer toward companies interested in biotechnological applications. Furthermore, the research group founded an academic spin-off StarFInn, aimed to supply the scientific and technological support to companies addressed to the production of foods in which the yeast plays a key role in the realization of the finished product.

Key persons

  • Prof. Patrizia Romano
    Founder of UBYC. Member of the Scientific Committee of MIRRI-IT.
  • Prof. Angela Capece
    UBYC curator. Member of the General Assembly of MIRRI-IT.
  • Dr. Rocchina Pietrafesa
    Expert in yeasts collection and preservation.

Relevant previous projects

  • Comportamento di lieviti vinari specifici in produzione e conservazione in coltura massiva (Project granted by Regione Basilicata, 2007-2009)
  • Progetto STARTER – Studio di fattibilità per la produzione di lieviti specifici per diverse applicazioni industriali (birra, pane) utilizzando come substrato il mosto residuale della produzione di birra” (Project granted by Area Science Park, 2010-2011).
  • Progetto COST Action FA0907 – BIOFLAVOUR) -“Yeast flavour production – New biocatalysts and novel molecular mechanisms (2009-2014)
  • PIF “LIELUC-Lieviti indigeni per vini Lucani” (Project granted by -PSR Basilicata 2007/2013 Misura 124, 2013-2015)
  • Progetto SMART BASILICATA, Bando “Smart Cities and Communities and Social Innovation” (MIUR, PON 2007 – 2013), OR 2.1: Tecniche innovative per la gestione delle biomasse e la loro valorizzazione ai fini energetici (2012-2018)

Description of significant infrastructure
Facilities available at UBYC include equipment for analyses of basic microbiology and molecular biology, bioreactors at different volumes, Mini Spray Dryer for drying of microbial cells, gas chromatograph and other analytical equipment.

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