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Strategies for breeding climate change resilient barley, genetically equipped to optimized root-microbiome interactions

Objective

BarleyMicroBreed builds on the paradigm that crop resource efficiency and stress resilience can be significantly improved by optimizing the capacity of plant roots to efficiently interact with the existing soil microbiota. We therefore propose to advance our mechanistic understanding of interactions between the crop plant genome, root phenotypic traits, and the root-associated microbiota to identify novel breeding strategies for crops tailored to harness the benefits of the indigenous soil microbial diversity.
A holo-omics analysis of functionally annotated barley genomes together with a catalogue of root microbiota assemblages and phenotypic data including drought responses of 600 barley varieties determined in field trials in Austria, Lebanon and Morocco, will enable the identification of barley genome components, microbiota members and root traits important for drought resilience. Barley genome regions putatively important for microbiota assembly and drought resistance will be validated by gene knock-outs and causative effects will be explored using a combination of metabolomics, metagenomics and root phenotyping in pot and rhizobox experiments.
To improve root phenotyping, we will develop tools including core break imaging systems, software developments for “gap filling” in rhizobox phenotyping, and models to infer seedling to mature root system architecture.
Finally, with the knowledge of the genetic regulation of phenotypic root plasticity of barley lines we will implement strategies to create drought adaptive barley varieties with improved root systems and microbiomes. A selection of lines based on drought responses, microbiome assembly and root systems will be backcrossed into elite European lines and tested in field trials.

We argue that breeding for crops tailored to harness the benefits of the indigenous soil microbial diversity rather than inoculating crops with plant-beneficial microorganisms will be a much more feasible and long-lasting strategy.

Coordinator

AARHUS UNIVERSITET
Net EU contribution
€ 3 484 317,50
Address
Nordre Ringgade 1
8000 Aarhus C
Denmark

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Region
Danmark Midtjylland Østjylland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00

Participants (6)

INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH IN THE DRY AREAS
Lebanon
Net EU contribution
€ 1 200 000,00
Address
Bechir Al Kassar Dalia Building 2nd Floor Area Verdun
- Beirut

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Activity type
Research Organisations
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
UNIVERSITAET FUER BODENKULTUR WIEN
Austria
Net EU contribution
€ 1 200 388,75
Address
Gregor Mendel Strasse 33
1180 Wien

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Region
Wien Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET
Denmark
Net EU contribution
€ 808 911,25
Address
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

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Region
Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
PSI (PHOTON SYSTEMS INSTRUMENTS), SPOL. SRO
Czechia
Net EU contribution
€ 398 500,00
Address
Drasov 470
664 24 Drasov

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Jihovýchod Jihomoravský kraj
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
LANTMANNEN EKONOMISK FORENING
Sweden
Net EU contribution
€ 399 875,00
Address
Not Applicable
10425 Stockholm

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Region
Östra Sverige Stockholm Stockholms län
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
METASYSX GMBH
Germany
Net EU contribution
€ 500 750,00
Address
Am Mühlenberg 11
14476 Potsdam

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Brandenburg Brandenburg Potsdam
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00