Laboratorio di Fisiologia Vegetale

AGRONICKEL - Developing Ni agromining on ultramafic land in Europe

The European project AGRONICKEL, supported by FACCE SURPLUS (Sustainable and resilient agriculture for food and non-food systems) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement N. 652615) and has involved the following partners:

  • University of Lorraine, France - Coordinator
  • CSIC, Spain
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria
  • CNRS, France
  • Jagiellonian University, Poland
  • Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania
  • Università di Firenze, Italy
  • Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology, Greece
  • MICROHUMUS, France.

The research project aimed to implement agroecosystems which can lead to better soil resource efficiency and to offer a fully integrated, new agromining agriculture that could cover thousands of km2 in Europe and benefit local communities with sustainable rural development.

The research activity of the lab consisted in the study of promising species for phytomining purposes, especially Ni-Hyperaccumulators from the Balkans region.


Our main papers related to the project activities:

  1. Cecchi L., Bettarini I., Colzi I., Coppi A., Echevarria G., Pazzagli L., Bani A., Gonnelli C., Selvi F. (2018). The genus Odontarrhena (Brassicaceae) in Albania: Taxonomy and nickel accumulation in a critical group of metallophytes from a major serpentine hot-spot. Phytotaxa 351, 1–28. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.351.1.1
  2. Bettarini I., Colzi I., Coppi A., Falsini S., Echevarria G., Pazzagli L., Selvi F., Gonnelli C. (2019). Unravelling soil and plant metal relationships in Albanian nickel hyperaccumulators in the genus Odontarrhena (syn. Alyssum sect. Odontarrhena, Brassicaceae). Plant and Soil 440, 135–149. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-019-04077-y
  3. Bettarini I., Colzi I., Gonnelli C., Pazzagli L., Reeves R.D., Selvi F. (2020). Inability to accumulate Ni in a genus of hyperaccumulators: the paradox of Odontarrhena sibirica (Brassicaceae). Planta, 252:99. DOI: 10.1007/s00425-020-03507-x
  4. Bettarini I., Gonnelli C., Selvi F., Coppi A., Pazzagli L., Colzi I. (2021). Diversity of Ni growth response and accumulation in Central-Eastern Mediterranean Odontarrhena (Brassicaceae) populations on and off serpentine sites. Environmental and Experimental Botany 186, 104455. DOI: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2021.104455


Serpentine soil

Morava Mountain, Albania

Sampling on serpentine outcrop

Shebenik Mountain

Odontarrhena chalcidica

Hydroponic cultivation

Odontarrhena chalcidica

Leaf gas exchange measurements






















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