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Ancient genetics (AGENT): Capturing signatures of nutrient stress tolerance from extant landraces to unlock the production potential of marginal lands

Ancient genetics (AGENT): Capturing signatures of nutrient stress tolerance from extant landraces to unlock the production potential of marginal lands

Objective

The goal of this project is to exploit ancient Northern European landraces and improve the ability of the important cereal, barley, to acquire and utilize nutrients from the soil more efficiently. Climate change pressures and degradation of arable lands are expected to increase the need to produce feed and food even in unfavorable environments, such as marginal soils with inherent nutrient limitations. Thus, it will be a major breeding focus to select traits associated with enhanced crop robustness in order to secure the future demand for plant products. In this context, recent work has demonstrated a superior capacity of Northern European barley landraces, adapted to marginal soils, to acquire and allocate essential micronutrients. This project aims to advance our knowledge of adaptive traits conferring nutrient use efficiency. This will be achieved by bridging disciplines of plant genetics and plant nutrition, not only by unravelling functions of individual genes, but also by capturing the compensatory adjustments at the transcriptome and molecular physiology levels, preserved in landraces but seemingly lost from modern elite cultivars. The overall scientific objective is to identify the genetic control of nutrient stress tolerance, and specifically to: (i) use exome capture sequencing to identify candidate genes involved in nutrient deficiency tolerance; (ii) study the transcriptional responses of these genes under nutrient stress and their dynamics with time after stress recovery; (iii) describe in detail the physiological responses contributing to improved nutrient stress tolerance of major cereal crops. The proposed project will deliver quantitative information and a predictive understanding of nutrient stress tolerance and will provide new breeding material. The findings will act as an exemplar for other major cereals to expand cultivation and stabilize yields in marginal previously unproductive land.
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Coordinator

THE JAMES HUTTON INSTITUTE

Address

Errol Road Invergowrie
Dd2 5da Dundee

United Kingdom

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 224 933,76

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 840829

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    7 October 2019

  • End date

    6 October 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 224 933,76

  • EU contribution

    € 224 933,76

Coordinated by:

THE JAMES HUTTON INSTITUTE

United Kingdom