demetra DSS

metagenomic identification of nitrate pollutions sources

Metagenomic analysis

A new analysis technique allowing identification of specific sequences of the microbiotic genome, through which it is possible to trace sources of nitrate pollution.


With specific IT solutions it is possible to support both farmers and Institutions by creating a territorial platform providing access to sapling data. This will allow a better drafting of administrative procedures and enhance traceability of agricultural reuse compounds.


Farmers from ZVNs (Nitrate Vulnerable Zones) are first-hand involved in project activities, expecially in sampling activities and will benefit from IT solution.

Demetra project

DEMETRA DSS project is a PSR Puglia 2014-2020 projects, Measure 16.2, addressing the “nitrate issue” alongside local farms, thanks to the use of innovative IT supports.

What’s the”nitrate issue”?

and what does Nitrate Vulnerable Zones means?

Nitrogen is a fundamental nutritional element for plants, present in soil, but the intensive agricultural activities, livestock and industrial activity has caused a considerable increase in the presence of nitrogen in the groundwater. Large concentrations of nitrogen are toxic to humans and cause serious damage to the groundwater and waterways.  That’s why the EU carries out control activities for the designation of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (ZVN). However, it has not yet been possible to identify the real contributions of the sources of contamination.


Sysman P&S

Sysman Progetti & Servizi is an ICT company from Puglia, with more than 20 years of experience. Among the many areas explored by Sysman over the years, also thanks to the constant participation in European and regional R&D projects, Sysman gained great experience in the field of Digital Agriculture, thanks to the creation of Bluleaf.


The Institute of Research on Water (IRSA) was established in 1968 with the task of carrying out research activities in management and protection of water resources and in the development of methods and technologies for treatment (purification) of waste water (urban and industrial). Multidisciplinarity has been and is the main “strength” of IRSA, in fact engineers, chemists, geologists, biologists, physicists, etc. collaborate together in the various research groups.


Confederation of Italian Cooperatives, Confcooperative, is the main organization of representation, assistance and protection of the Italian social enterprises , including companies (18,500), persons employed (525,000, with a  turnover achieved of 66 billion euros. The shareholders represented are over 3.2 million.


Apofruit Italia is a cooperative company that operates with its own structures and producer members from north to south of Italy.
A pofruit invested in a constant growth with the “mission” to acquire the maximum specialization on the main Italian fruit and vegetable products.
This is embodied by the quality and differentiation of the offer; in the intense activity aimed at varietal renewal; in product and process innovation; in services tailored to modern sales channels; in the organizational and management efficiency of the company.

Cantine Lizzano

Among the largest and most modern wineries in the south, Cantine Lizzano has the roots of its vineyards in Salento, thanks to the bet of Luigi Ruggieri, doctor and farmer who, in 1959, gathered a group of winemakers to enhance local productions by recovering the ancient peasant practices and combining them with modern winemaking techniques. In 1989 it obtained the DOC, and today it has 400 members and 500 hectares of vineyards with native (Primitivo, Negroamaro, Malvasia, Moscato) and international (Chardonnay, Pinot and Cabernet) vines.

Cantine Torricella

The Cantina Sociale di Torricella was founded in 1959 to join the forces and experience of the small producers of the city.
A large project, which starts from the earth and crosses the history of generations. And it evolves and continues to grow with the ambition and values of the new generations.


Sempreverde l.t.d. a was born from takeover of the Favuzzi brothers of their father (Favuzzi Pietro) company. The company boasts thirty years of experience in the fruit and vegetable sector.
The company deals with the production, processing and packaging of fruit and vegetable products for the fresh market aiming to improve the quality of work in the company, the quality of fruit and vegetables and the relationship with the market / customers, as well as the final consumers.


AGRIS is a cooperative society established in Bari in 2013. The company gathers technicians and experts in agricultural sector disciplines and has the general purpose of carrying out activities of technical assistance, consultancy, research, investigation, dissemination, technology transfer , production and management in the agricultural, agro-industrial, environmental and food sectors.

Latest publications

DEMETRA DSS is the best technological innovation – Water-Energy-Food Nexus!

 Naples 12-15 July 2022 DEMETRA DSS was awarded as the best technological innovation presented in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus section during the fifth edition of the International Conference EWaS (Efficient Water Systems) - International Conference on "Water Security...

DemetraDss @ EWaS International Conference – Napoli 2022

 Naples 12-15 July 2022 The 5th edition of the International Conference EWaS (Efficient Water Systems) - International Conference on "Water Security and Safety Management: emerging threats or new challenges? Moving from Therapy and Restoration to Prognosis and...

Everything you need to know about nitrates in Puglia (and where to find it!)

You want to know more about the nitrate issue, but internet is teeming with fragmented sources, from which it is almost impossible to understand exactly what the PAN is, how the Puglia Region is acting and what are the techniques to be adopted to monitor the...

Report: Puglia region and databases for territory characterization

Overall environmental and climatic context of the various areas of Puglia and how these cna impact on the levels of contamination risk, are described in the Report: Puglia and the databases for the informational characterization of the territory, by the CNR -IRSA.....

Report: Sampling guide

Within the monitoring and experimentation activities on pilot farms, the scientific team of the CNR-IRSA has developed sampling guidelines, containing main steps to follow to sample a territory within the ZVN. Discover the sampling guide, written by the CNR-IRSA team!...

Report: what’s the PAN Puglia?

The Nitrate Action Plan (PAN) is the main tool made made available by European Community and the Italian Regions for addressing nitrate pollution issue that threatens our agriculture. The PAN defines strategies and actions able to fight pollutions and preventing it,...

Report: methodologies for the identification of nitrate pollution from agriculture activities

A proper identification of the sources of nitrate pollution is fundamental for a correct designation of NZVs and for developing correct agronomic strategies. The fight against nitrate pollution involves molecular analysis, in particular in the DEMETRA DSS project the...

Report: what’s a Nitrate Vulnerability Zone and what do you need to know about it?

Agricultural pollution by nitrates represent a great risk for the groundwater safety; for this reason the European Community has issued a series of rules that regulate the so-called Nitrate Vulnerability Zones. Find out what a Nitrate Vulnerability Zone is and how the...

News & events

Nitrates and food: is food secure?

Nitrates and food: is food secure?

Nitrates are present in almost all foods on our table, yet we worry for the 'nitrate issue'. So it's worth asking: Is our food safe? Nitrates and Nitrites, and all of the nitrogen compounds, promote optimal crop growth and food preservation. For this reason, in...

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The cycle of nitrogen: from the atmosphere to the table

The cycle of nitrogen: from the atmosphere to the table

Ions and molecules of nutrients are continuously transferred from the physical environment to organisms through circular paths: the Biogeochemical Cycles. These include nitrogen Let's get to know him better! Only 12% of nitrogen compounds come from fixation, all the...

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Second sampling campaign for Demetra DSS

Second sampling campaign for Demetra DSS

Second sampling campaign for environmental monitoring of the DEMETRA DSS project at the Sempreverde company started today!   At the beginning of the new agricultural season, the CNR-IRSA team together with the Agris one returned on field to start the second...

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2022 World Water Day is dedicated to groundwater and its preservation from over-usage and pollution due to agricultural activities. Water is one of the essential inorganic components for life whose  movement defines the so-called nutrient cycle. In addition, water as...

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