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Resurrection plants reveal secrets of vegetative desiccation tolerance

Objective

A major challenge faced by modern agriculture is abiotic stress caused by unfavourable environmental conditions. Global warming is expected to further intensify these problems, including frequency and severity of drought stress, which seriously affect both crop quality and yield. Therefore, timely action is needed to find solutions to mitigate the consequences of water deprivation. A small number of species called resurrection plants, which can tolerate desiccation of their vegetative organs, are a natural resource that can be tapped to solve this problem. They can withstand transition to air-dried state and completely restore physiological activities upon rehydration. In this project, we will study the genomes of several resurrection species and compare them with the genomes of desiccation-sensitive plants to identify molecular mechanisms that are involved in drought tolerance. In addition to the publicly available data of resurrection plants with already sequenced genomes, we will sequence and analyze two more- Haberlea rhodopensis and Xerophyta humilis. Comparative transcriptomics, metabolomics, and lipidomics of resurrection, model, and crop plants subjected to drought will bring further insights about the nature of drought stress tolerance. The research team involves European specialists in resurrection species, drought signaling, plant systems biology and bioinformatics, a partner from Israel experienced in lipidomics, and the leading African university with expertise in resurrection plants and bioinformatics. Next to that, an industrial partner will ensure that the knowledge gained by studying the resurrection and model species is transferred to crops. Moreover, the company will contribute with novel biostimulant based treatment technologies to mitigate stress and achieve optimal yield and net profit. An extensive mobility program will provide staff exchange to maximize research outputs and increase the human capacity of the partners.

Call for proposal

H2020-MSCA-RISE-2018
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-RISE - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)

Coordinator

TSENTAR PO RASTITELNA SISTEMNA BIOLOGIYA I BIOTEHNOGIYA
Address
Ruski Blvd 139
Plovdiv
Bulgaria
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 363 400

Participants (4)

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 161 000
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Munchen
Activity type
Research Organisations
UNIVERSITAET POTSDAM
Germany
EU contribution
€ 285 200
Address
Am Neuen Palais 10
14469 Potsdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV
Israel
EU contribution
€ 128 800
Address
.
84105 Beer Sheva
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
BIOATLANTIS
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 124 200
Address
Kerry Technology Park
Tralee
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

Partners (1)

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
South Africa
Address
Private Bag X3
7701 Rondebosch
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments