New ways to make stronger crops

EU-funded researchers are investigating novel non-GMO approaches to stepping up stress-resistance in crops. The research could lead to increased yields for farmers and improve Europe's food security.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


This page was published on 11/08/2016
Published: 11/08/2016

 

Published: 11 August 2016  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Agriculture & foodAgriculture
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Germany  |  Ireland  |  Netherlands
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New ways to make stronger crops

picture field of cereal and dramatic sky

© zegendos - fotolia.com

EU-funded research is helping to create a secure, sustainable and safe means of food production.

CropStrengthen is one such project. CropStrengthen aims to increase understanding of the molecular basis of abiotic stress tolerance in crops (resistance to non-living environmental factors e.g. drought), and to provide two alternatives to current strategies for increasing food production.

The project has awarded Marie Curie fellowships to five PhD students, who will investigate novel approaches to increasing crop strength and resistance to stress through alternative genetic and genomic, non-GMO, biotechnologies.

The first approach will involve the selection of variants of a novel gene that regulates oxidative and abiotic stress tolerance. For the second, the researchers will either use biostimulants or low doses of H2O2 to induce stress-protective mechanisms in crops.

Both approaches to increasing crop yield are growing in importance, with the biostimulants industry expected to reach about €2.1 billion globally by 2018.

The five fellows will conduct the research at the University of Potsdam, Germany, and at two companies: BioAtlantis in Ireland and Enza Zaden in the Netherlands. They will receive training in bioinformatics and statistics and will spend at least half their time at the companies.

The training package aims to build a bridge between fundamental science and applied, market-oriented science. The TP includes hands-on training on methods for plant phenotype analysis and evaluation of crop parameters, such as yield seed and pollen viability, and stress tolerance, using classical as well as advanced technologies.

Project details

  • Project acronym: CropStrengthen
  • Participants: Germany (Coordinator), Netherlands, Ireland
  • Project N°: 642901
  • Total costs: € 1 268 698
  • EU contribution: € 1 268 698
  • Duration: January 2015 - December 2018

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