TITLE SPELT IN EUROPEAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE ACRONYM SESA SUMMARY A coordinated research project is proposed which is aimed at fulfilling Objective 4.3 of the European 4th Framework Programme. The proposed work comprises a comprehensive investigation of a minor, traditional European hulled cereal crop - spelt. The research will include novel and generic studies to establish the genome of spelt, its differentiation from other cereals, its adaptability to contrasting European agricultural environments and its genetic improvement. The chemical composition, physical attributes and organoleptic traits of spelt will be determined in comparison with wheat, to establish fully the potential role of spelt in Europe. The main aims of the proposed project are to characterise the adaptability of spelt in countries where it is not grown traditionally, to demonstrate the practicability of growing spelt in less-favoured and environmentally- sensitive areas of Europe, to promote agricultural diversification in Europe, to improve knowledge of specific spelt quality traits for human consumption, to provide guidelines for new product development, to assess the properties of spelt as a feed for animals, to develop identification criteria to differentiate spelt from other cereals on a molecular basis, to characterise historic collections of spelt genetic material and to produce new cultivars of spelt with improved efficiency of use of resources. The work will be undertaken by a network of organisations, based on the exisiting European Spelt Network (ESN), from nine European countries representing the entire range of pedo-climatic, topographical, economic, and cultural conditions in Europe. The results of the research will contribute to the scientific knowledge of the inheritance of quality traits in graminaceous plants, to the relationship between molecular structure of storage proteins and functional properties of cereal grains, to the impact of environmental factors on the growth of cereal crops and to the effect of agricultural diversification on the socioeconomic and ethical sustainability of European agriculture. New products, from a potentially environmentally-friendly crop will be developed to the benefit of agro-industry in Europe.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
43012 Le Puy En Velay
LN2 2LG Lincoln