The Institute for the Animal Production System in the Mediterranean Environment (ISPAAM) was established in May 2002 from the merger of the Institute for the study of Cattle and Buffalo Adaptation to the Southern Environment (IABBAM) in Naples and the Centre of Studies on Mediterranean Pastures (CSPM) in Sassari, after the closure of the Centre for Minor Ruminants (CRM) in Bari and the Centre for Forage Conservation (CCF) in Bologna. IABBAM and CSPM were founded in 1974 and 1984, respectively.
On the basis of the acquired know-how and experience, ISPAAM acts as a reference point for CNR research in Animal Productions, and as a research center on these scientific themes in the Mediterranean areas. These research issues are mainly related to the study of the genetic improvement of farm animals and plants, of the animal breeding environments, of the forage production and of the animal-derived food/material quality.
ISPAAM main aims concern the enhancement of the sustainability of livestock-forage systems throughout the optimization of the yield/quality products connection, with the aim to respond to the needs of both consumers and markets, considering also the final environmental impact of farming activities. Rationalization of these investigation actions also offers the possibility to harmonize all the work carried out by several Institutions in this research area, activating scientific collaborations and networking in order to achieve an efficient National planning of the activities on Animal Productions.
ISPAAM studies the Animal Production System in a systemic way, by using an interdisciplinary approach and considering the whole production chain, starting from plant/animal productions and ending with the quality of the final food products. Animal productions constitute a complex system, whose study requires knowledge and methods from different scientific disciplines.
Research activity at ISPAAM is organized within the following areas (Commesse):
(a) AG.P01.015 - Genomic and proteomic methodologies for sustainable development of animal and agroindustrial systems;
(b) AG.P04.004 - Bio-agronomic studies for the sustainable development of agropastoral systems and Mediterranean forage resources;
(c) AG.P04.014 - Characterization, enhancement and sustainability of livestock animals by classical and innovative methodologies.
Scientific areas concern cytogenetics, biochemistry-proteomics, molecular genetics, nutrition, cell physiology, microbiology, agronomy, forage cropping and modeling for agrifood applications.
The potential generated by the ISPAAM research activities can be summarized as follows:
(a) genetic improvement of farm animals;
(b) proteomic characterization of organisms having agricultural/veterinary interest;
(c) selection/treatment of foods for animal nutrition and related nutritional programs;
(d) animal welfare;
(e) improvement of agronomic techniques for the multifunctional use of pastures;
(f) using biomasses from drought tolerant native species for energetic purposes.