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.”
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!
A new position has opened within Root2Res, as ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas) aims to hire a researcher in the ICARDA Environment for Moroccan nationals and candidates who have a current residency in Morocco.
The successful applicant will carry out research that will organize and carry data collection with Phenomobile of the Root2Res trials in Morocco; organize and carry phenotypic data collection in the field and in the Physiotron experiment; Implement trait prediction models based on phenotypic data collection and remote sensing data as well as assisting in any other activities of Root2Res project.
The candidate will be granted a 12-months research fellowship, renewable to a maximum of 48 months subject to satisfactory performance, continuous need of the position and availability of fund.
A new position has opened within Root2Res, as the TEAGASC (Agriculture and Food Development Authority) aims to hire a research officer in the Teagasc Environment, Soils and Land-use Department in Johnstown Castle, Wexford.
The successful applicant will carry out research that will increase our understanding of how crop genetics control root and rhizosphere microbial phenotypes, and how these interact with the environment to deliver an integrated crop resilience to climate stress. The impact of plant-soil interactions on the capacity of soil microbial communities to carry out important biogeochemical cycling functions, including carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling, will be assessed on cereal, potato, and legume annual crops. This work will be carried out as part of the Roots2Res project.
Johnstown Castle is well equipped with laboratory, greenhouse and field facilities to support a wide and innovative research programme, as well as 190 hectares of farmland. It has a wide-ranging and active programme on soil and plant microbiomes in agricultural systems.
A new position has opened within Root2Res, as the University of Dundee aims to gaining novel insights into the molecular basis of root adaptation to the environment. A new postdoctoral research assistant will be granted a fixed-term contract as part of the collaboration between two laboratories, Bulgarelli’s and Hein’s, both part of the School of Life Sciences. All candidates must submit their application before March by following this link.
The chosen scientist will contribute to the team based at Dundee by investigating plant microbiota and its contribution to climate modification resilience. Priorities include obtaining metagenomic DNA from plant tissues and social specimens; developing molecular probes targeting microbial genes; next generation sequencing library preparation; and in-silico analysis of microbiome datasets with high performance computers.
The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-renowned academic institution with over 900 staff across 60 countries, with state-of-the-art facilities for multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment. The Bulgarelli’s lab and the Heins’s lab are part of the Division of Plant Sciences based at the James Hutton Institute on the outskirt of Dundee, Scotland.