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Epigenetic Diversity in Ecology


Plants are the foundation of all ecosystems and they provide humans with essential services. Unprecedented rates of global environmental change are now putting plants under increased risk, and it is important to understand the capacity of plants to adapt to rapid change. EPIDIVERSE takes a cross-disciplinary approach to investigate the role that epigenetic mechanisms, specifically DNA methylation, play in plant adaptation. Understanding the epigenetic contribution to adaptation will help to predict species responses to global warming and can open new directions for sustainable agriculture and crop breeding. In EPIDIVERSE, a consortium of academic and entrepreneurial PIs will train 15 ESRs to become a first generation of expert eco-epigeneticists, equipping them with the interdisciplinary skills - molecular, (epi)genomic, ecological and bioinformatics - to successfully tackle this new research area. Training in leading academic groups and in life sciences companies will emphasize empirical and informatics skills to become fluent and creative in extracting knowledge from big ‘omics data in natural contexts. In so doing, EPIDIVERSE will ensure the ESRs, and Europe, leading positions in this emerging field. To explain the real-life relevance of epigenetics in natural systems, we will (1) develop genomic and bioinformatics tools for epigenomic analysis in natural settings; (2) determine natural epigenetic diversity, and its relationship with environmental factors, in three common wild species across Europe; and (3) reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying natural epigenetic diversity through controlled experiments. This approach is innovative and timely because it integrates several so far disconnected areas of epigenetic research, and it will transfer analytical methods from laboratory research to the real world. These are important steps forward if Europe wants to understand, manage, and possibly enhance plant adaptability to pressing environmental challenges.



Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 510 748,56
Kloveniersburgwal 29 het trippenhuis
1011 JV Amsterdam
Paesi Bassi

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West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Tipo di attività
Research Organisations
Altri finanziamenti
€ 0,00

Partecipanti (12)

Partner (3)