Jülich exceeds expectations with the workshop on Root Phenotyping

Jülich exceeds expectations with the workshop on Root Phenotyping

The joint initiative of Root2Res, RootEd and WishRoots brought together researchers, students and end-users in a two-day controlled environment demonstration  

Sebastian Erdrich – FZ-J

With 58 in person participants and another 20 people registered online, the workshop on Root Phenotyping and Image Analysis held in Jülich proved the relevance of these practices for the agricultural systems of the future. Speakers from 8 different organisations combined theory and practice in a fully packed agenda, covering from nutrient availability to microbiota, from shoveling to imaging. The successful two-day event in a controlled environment is now to be followed by ICARDA with a demonstration on field conditions on February 28th in Morocco.  

Learn about Root2Res objectives and partnership

The facilities of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, in the German region of Aachen, witnessed the arrival of fellow researchers and end-users for a live demonstration on the 5th and 6th of February. Although within the context of the second Work Package of Root2Res, dedicated to the Phenotyping Toolbox, the initiative also featured project WishRoots and the doctoral network of RootEd as co-contributors, with invited speakers from the University of Bologna, UC Louvain and the University of Nottingham. The delegation of Root2Res was plentiful on its own: the James Hutton Institute, BOKU, CNR, UFZ and FZ-J themselves addressed the hybrid audience. Besides, the workshop welcomed representatives from Eurofins, PSI and Yara, for the agricultural value chain, and abroad students from the RootEd Winter School.  

The Phenotyping Toolbox is a series of innovative techniques for the rapid assessment of root traits in both field and controlled conditions. The in-depth characterization of root and related rhizosphere traits is based on envirotyping data, with three contrasting experimental soils chosen from the projects’ core phenotyping facilities Arvalis, ADAS, ICARDA, KIS, each located in a different agroclimatic zone. Root2Res will be presenting these methods next at Sidi el Aidi, Morocco, on the 28th of February.  

Two dozen stakeholders are expected to visit ICARDA’s hub, with the International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN) funding the travel of two students from the European Union. Root2Res researcher Raffaella Balestrini (CNR) and Project Coordinator Jean-Pierre Cohan (Arvalis) are to accompany the visit, facilitating the exchange on these solutions with researchers, farmers and breeders facing changing environments. These workshops provide valuable information for the widespread adoption of Phenotyping Tools, the characterisation of species and the accuracy of future project trials. 

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These images were courtesy of Sebastian Erdrich and the Forschungszentrum Jülich

Root2Res, ever closer to local users for stable yields and improved soil properties

Root2Res, ever closer to local users for stable yields and improved soil properties

The joint initiative of Root2Res, RootEd and WishRoots brought together researchers, students and end-users in a two-day controlled environment demonstration  

 

 

A decade after establishing World Soil Day on December 5, the sustainable management of this crucial resource is regarded by society as increasingly important to the sustainability of the environment and our well-being. Growing concern for biodiversity and food security have prompted the European Commission to reinforce the Horizon Europe research programme by funding projects like Root2Res, focused on crop systems ready for future environmental change, and consolidating them via Mission Soil. This month, these two initiatives settled, in parallel events in Spain, providing direction for the imperative collaboration among researchers and end users, namely breeders and farmers. 

Learn about Root2Res objectives and partnership

As the multinational consortium Root2Res met in Santiago de Compostela, the project was also present at Madrid for the Mission Soil Week among other contributors and signatories. The inaugural year of Root2Res has been accompanied by the first results on root phenotyping, ideotyping, plasticity and modelling, with activities involving local stakeholders at core experimental sites in the United Kingdom, France, Slovenia and Morocco, and preparations for joint efforts with complementary projects in early 2024. The ultimate goal is to provide producers with stable yields and soils with improved properties, by developing tools that swiftly address root traits crucial to the tolerance against abiotic stress, specifically fluctuation in water availability.  

Although promising, the study of root systems is rapidly evolving, hence the importance of having local actors on board to bring their expertise, as breeders and agronomists, in order to develop and identify rotational crop cultivars for the European agricultural landscape of the next decade. Root2Res is a singular project in its approach and scope, requiring a complex collaboration of 22 partners across Europe and Africa, covering agroclimatic zones from temperate to mediterranean conditions. In that regard, the recent establishment of a Stakeholder Advisory Board with 8 members has contributed to both geographical and knowledge coverage. As for 2024, Root2Res looks forward to stronger and wider links with the end users, and scientific innovation that together will help us move towards food security and preserved healthy soils.    

 

Root2Res, ever closer to local users for stable yields and improved soil properties

The EU-funded project gathered in Spain in parallel to the Mission Soil Week, reflecting on a first year pursuing root systems ready for climate change

ROOT2RES 1st Annual Meeting: Cultivating Innovation in Santiago de Compostela

Excitement is brewing as ROOT2RES, the European project focused on enhancing crop resilience through innovative root systems, gears...

An interview with Root2Res deputy coordinator, Tim George

this is an extract of the article "Resilient Crops: Rooting for Sustainability in Horizon Europe" published by UKRI "In the quest for...

ROOT2RES 1st Annual Meeting: Cultivating Innovation in Santiago de Compostela

ROOT2RES 1st Annual Meeting: Cultivating Innovation in Santiago de Compostela

Excitement is brewing as ROOT2RES, the European project focused on enhancing crop resilience through innovative root systems, gears up for its First Annual Meeting in Santiago de Compostela. Scheduled from November 21st to 23rd, this event promises to be a dynamic confluence of insights, updates, and collaborative discussions.

Agenda Highlights:

🌿 Introduction of the SCAB and Core Sites: The meeting kicks off with an insightful introduction to the Scientific and Community Advisory Board (SCAB) and an exploration of the project’s core sites.

🌐 Work Package Updates: It will take place a comprehensive overview of the progress made across the work packages. From root phenotyping tools to genetic markers and modeling, each update unveils the intricate layers of research contributing to the project’s overarching goals.

🔬 Living Lab Visit in Vigo: A highlight of the event is the immersive visit to Vigo’s Living Lab. Participants will witness firsthand the application of innovative root systems and gain insights into how these technologies are implemented in real-world agricultural settings.

🌍 Closure with SCAB Feedback: The meeting concludes with a valuable session featuring feedback from the Scientific and Community Advisory Board. This open dialogue ensures that ROOT2RES continues to evolve and align with the latest advancements and community needs.

Stay Connected: Follow ROOT2RES on social media for live updates, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and highlights from this groundbreaking Annual Meeting. Together, we’re cultivating a future where resilient crops pave the way for sustainable agriculture!

An interview with Root2Res deputy coordinator, Tim George

An interview with Root2Res deputy coordinator, Tim George

this is an extract of the article “Resilient Crops: Rooting for Sustainability in Horizon Europe” published by UKRI

“In the quest for sustainable agriculture, Horizon Europe partners with projects like ROOT2RES, which explores the untapped potential of plant root systems. Roots, often overlooked, are pivotal in nutrient absorption and water retention.

Collaborating closely with Horizon Europe and like-minded stakeholders, ROOT2RES aims to revolutionize crop resilience. Their mission: creating crops that thrive in adversity while reducing agriculture’s environmental impact. This partnership has also secured a Horizon Europe guarantee grant, ensuring the UK’s continued involvement in this vital EU-funded project. This commitment is crucial in the effort to make crops more resilient to climate change.

Discover how this partnership is unearthing solutions to global challenges, such as food security and climate change, by nurturing resilient crops and cultivating a greener future for all.”

Read the full article here.

Pictures Credits: James Hutton Institute

Root2Res at Les Culturales

Root2Res at Les Culturales

Root2Res has participated in Les Culturales, the French biggest field show dedicated to arable crops and organized by ARVALIS. This year, the event gathered 15 000 participants over 2 days, mainly producers, advisors, scientists but also students and policy makers. It was an amazing experience as it was the first time Root2Res joined a large scale fair and met with its french stakeholders.

Root2Res project held a workshop gathering 12 participants with a wide range of profiles (breeders, producers, advisors, agronomists, scientists) in order to determine the priorities in terms of root traits to be further investigated in relation to limiting production factors. It was also discussed the current limitations of root systems phenotyping regarding the different objectives (breeding, agronomic study, measurements in farmers’ fields) and to discuss possible innovations and tools to overcome them.

In addition to this workshop, a visit to the technical area of the show was organized to illustrate the work carried out on root systems by ARVALIS and its partners, notably in relation with roots phenotyping methods. It was an opportunity to demonstrate how soil pits and minirhizotrons work and the root-related information they enable to capture.

Finally, a specific booth dedicated to European project had also been set up and served as a forum for raising awareness among farmers and other agricultural operators of the issues addressed by Root2Res project and the contribution of root systems to the resilience of cropping systems in the face of climate change.

Here you can see some of the pictures that were taken in the event. Thank you to everyone that participated and took photos having a great time there!

Pictures:

Twitter – @CamilleHarel4

Root2Res