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This project has received funding from the
European Union's Seventh Framework Programme
for research, technological development and
demonstration under grant agreement no 289562

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Empowering root-targeted strategies to minimize abiotic stress impacts on horticultural crops is a collaborative project supported by the European Commission under the FP7 Cooperation Theme "Food, Fisheries and Biotechnologies".

Like Aeneas, the Troian prince protagonist of the Latin epic poem “Aeneid” who adventured in a number of lands after having escaped from the city of Troy, this project aims to “explore” environmentally-induced epigenetics changes as the “new frontier” of natural and artificial variability. More precisely, we want to assess the impact of environmental conditions on epigenetic states in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and then transfer knowledge to maize (Zea mays), an important European crop.

Fundamental differences in photosynthetic metabolism have been surprisingly unexploited as a means to increase plant productivity and thus provide more food and fuel, and this applies particularly to C4 photosynthesis, despite the fact that it is the photosynthetic pathway found in maize, one of the world’s major, and most productive, crops. Overall, if the characteristics of C4 photosynthesis were introduced into C3 crops, this would increase yield, reduce land area needed for cultivation, and limit both irrigation and fertiliser applications because of their improved productivity and efficiency in use of water and nitrogen. The occurrence of C4 photosynthesis in multiple lineages also provides us with a deep biological resource to increase our understanding of the process.

AccliPhot is a newly established Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the European Commission. The project has started on the 1st October 2012. The main research aim of AccliPhot is to investigate and understand short-term acclimation mechanisms to changes in light conditions in photosynthetic organisms.

BASF Plant Science – a subsidiary of the BASF Group – is one of the world’s leading suppliers of plant biotechnology solutions for agriculture. About 840 employees aiming to meet the strongly growing demand for increased agricultural productivity as well as better nutrition for people and animals.

In 2002, the ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (Innogen) was formed to study the evolution of genomics and life sciences and their far-reaching social and economic implications. As part of the ESRC Genomics Network, Innogen’s research provided a sound base for decision-making in science, industry, policy and public arenas related to the life sciences.

The FP7-KBBE project LEGATO (LEGumes for the Agriculture of TOmorrow, has been conceived to promote the culture of grain legumes in Europe by identifying priority issues currently limiting grain legume cultivation and devising solutions in term of novel varietal development, culture practices, and food uses.

LEGATO will develop tools and resources to enable state of the art breeding methodology and to exploit fully the breadth of genetic resources available. The work programme is designed to complement existing European and national projects on legume biology, such as ABSTRESS, and can act as a liaison to facilitate exploitation of results arising from them. LEGATO will conceive sustainable legume-based cropping systems, adapted to different pedoclimatic zones,and respecting local constraints. The project has been constructed around the participation of commercial partners including SMEs in the areas of marker development, plant breeding, and legume food processing, who will benefit from the advances made in these areas in LEGATO. Promising legume varieties and cropping systems will be tested at a series of pan-European sites to favour the widest possible take-up in agriculture, and the partners potentially concerned will participate in a stakeholder forum convened regularly during the project.

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