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.
🌿 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!
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.
As part of the Root2Res project, Teagasc is looking for a post doctoral researcher in soil and crop microbiome. This long-term contract opportunity is oriented towards studying 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. Applying process is open until January 17th – follow this link for more information in the Teagasc Opportunities Portal.
The position will be primarily based in the Environment and Land Use Department from Teagasc, based at Johnstown Castle, Wexford. As Ireland’s leading research institute on soils and environment related research and conducts research on soil health, soil-plant interactions, biodiversity, nutrient efficiency, water quality, gaseous emissions and agroecology, they will contribute to the microbial aspects of Root2Res.
Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, is the national public body providing integrated research, advisory, education and training services to the Irish agri-food sector. Its contribution to Root2Res also includes the Crop Science Department, based at Oak Park Research Centre (Carlow), the home of the Teagasc/IPM Potato Group Potato Breeding programme, which is supported by an experienced potato genetics and genomics research group. These groups are focused on identifying and understanding the underlying genetics of potato root characteristics involved in resistance to abiotic stresses.
Funded by the Horizon Europe program, the project Root2Res, Root phenotyping and genetic improvement for rotational crops resilient to environmental change, started on 1st September 2022. The project was launched during its Kick-Off Meeting held in France from September 14th to 16th 2022. At this event, all 22 partners from Europe and Africa, coordinated by ARVALIS-Institut du végétal and the James Hutton Institute, laid the foundations of an ambitious project aiming to design, develop and evaluate new root-based cultivars that help breeders and farmers to make agricultural systems that thrive in future environments while mitigating climate change.
Aside from getting to know each other in person, the Kick-Off Meeting allowed the partners to start the path towards the tools and resources required for defining the unique traits of the roots linked to plasticity and heritability, developing and monitoring cultivars, and engaging end-users at the field sites. The process was greatly aided by the presence of relevant guests, namely Gisela Quaglia, Policy Officer of the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI); Arantza Uriarte, Project Officer from the European Research Executive Agency (REA); and Amrit Nanda, Executive Manager of the European Technology Platform Plants for the Future, the central representative of breeders, and also part of the Stakeholder Advisory Board of Root2Res.
Although it is a project beyond the state of the art, Root2Res is at the same time part of a network of 33 projects related to genetic resources and breeding that have been funded by the same instrument since 2014. In its ambition, this initiative not only contributes to the Biodiversity Destination call, but also to the Farm to Fork strategy and the Soil Deal for Europe. Besides, the consortium members have manifested their intention to create ties with ongoing projects under the same call, potentially adding value and avoiding duplicities in their research.
The three-day encounter was held in different locations managed by ARVALIS, in its headquarters at Paris, its main research station at Boigneville, and the Beauce La Romaine site, which is home to the Phenofield platform. This high-throughput phenotyping infrastructure provides more frequent and non-destructive measurements with 5000 m2 of sheltered trialing capacity, and is equipped with multiple sensors that target climate change adaptation for up to 350 genotypes and up to 17 different irrigation regimes, measuring radiation, nitrogen and water. This ecosystem of expert researchers in agronomy, crop physiology robotics, biophysics and bio-informatics is an example of the unique contributions of the Root2Res partnership.