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CORDIS

Identification of the role of autophagy during fruit ripening and stress resistance in Strawberry: Autophagy manipulation as a way to improve Strawberry fitness

Project description

The first basic and applied study of autophagy in strawberry

Autophagy is the main resistance mechanism against biotic and abiotic stresses in different plant species. However, little is known about the effect of autophagy induction on the response of plants to stresses. This issue assumes greater importance within the context of global warming, given that the production of crops with higher resistance to heat and drought becomes essential. The EU-funded FrATGaria project will study the role of autophagy in the maturation of one of the most important berry fruits in the EU, strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa). The project will generate transgenic plants with increased autophagy and focus on analysing the potential benefits regarding general development, fruit quality and stress resistance that these plants can have compared to wild type.

Objective

"Autophagy, the major catabolic pathway in eukaryotic cells, has a role in the resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses in different plant species. Plenty of studies show that blocking autophagy by knocking out some of its essential genes leads to plants highly susceptible to this stresses (including heat and drought). However, there are much less studies about the effect of autophagy induction on the response of plants to stresses. Present situation of global warming is already having an effect in agriculture due to a rise in temperature and to water shortages. Therefore, generation of crops with higher resistance to heat and drought should be a priority nowadays. In this proposal I will study the role of autophagy in the maturation of one of the most important berry fruit in EU, Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa). I will determine the importance of this catabolic process in the response to heat/drought stress in this crop. Furthermore, I will use the diploid strawberry model specie Fragaria vesca to generate transgenic plants with increased autophagy by CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/dCas9 genome editing and analyze the potential benefits regarding general development, fruit quality and stress resistance (this previously shown for Arabidopsis, tomato and apple) that this plants can have compare to wild type. This will be the first basic and applied study of autophagy in strawberry. ""FrATGaria"" will combine my experience in the autophagy field with the expertise of the host group in strawberry development and fruit ripening and will benefit from active collaboration with strawberry breeding groups. The development of this project will allow me to broaden my knowledge about plant development in response to stress strengthening not only my scientific skills but also my leadership, project managment and mentoring capabilities."

Coordinator

UNIVERSIDAD DE MALAGA
Net EU contribution
€ 172 932,48
Address
AVDA CERVANTES, NUM. 2
29016 Malaga
Spain

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Region
Sur Andalucía Málaga
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 172 932,48