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Root Phenotyping Integrated Educational Doctoral Network

Project description

A deeper understanding of plant roots

A deeper understanding of the interactions between soils and plant roots may support sustainable agriculture by increasing crop yields and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The EU-funded ROOTED project will investigate how plant roots interact with their environment from a physiological and phenotypic perspective. The use of AI and deep learning will speed up image analysis and processing, resulting in greater data generation. The project will also train a new generation of multi-skilled scientists capable of innovating in the fields of plant and soil sciences, and contributing to the EU's Green Deal and a Soil Deal for Europe.

Objective

A deeper understanding of the interactions between soils and plants, especially at the root zone, where they take up water
and nutrients may support sustainable intensification of agricultural production. Research is indicating that a greater
understanding of roots and soil functions may lead to increases in crop yields, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from
soils, enhanced productivity in grasslands and reductions in fertilizer requirements to land. However, data gaps remain in our
understanding of how plant roots interact with their environment from a physiological and phenotypic perspective. Plant
Phenotyping has been described as the bottleneck to food security, yet the real bottleneck to plant phenotyping is thought to
be image analysis and processing. The challenge of ensuring food security provides the impetus for ROOTED (Root
Phenotyping Integrated Educational Doctoral Network). ROOTED will apply deep learning and artificial
intelligence to speed up data generation in root phenotyping. Agriculture is increasingly using digital technologies, but
currently 44% of the European workforce do not have these basic skills. This is a severe skills gap that Europe needs to
close urgently to avoid economic downturn. ROOTED will consolidate the complimentary expertise of an international,
interdisciplinary, multisectoral team to train a new generation of creative, resilient, adaptive multi-skilled scientists capable of
innovating the fields of plant and soil sciences to actively contribute to the goal of doubling food production in a sustainable
manner by 2050. Soil health and food is one of the 5 mission areas for Horizon Europe and the findings from ROOTED
would be directly applicable to the EU’s Green deal and a Soil Deal for Europe. ROOTED graduates will have a level of scientific, communication and digital skills mastery that enables them to move straight into employment in agri-food businesses, seed and breeding
companies, advisory and scientific roles.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, DUBLIN
Net EU contribution
€ 859 464,00
Address
BELFIELD
4 Dublin
Ireland

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Region
Ireland Eastern and Midland Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
No data

Participants (8)

Partners (7)