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.    

 

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

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...

Root2Res is launched!

Root2Res is launched!

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.

Learn about Root2Res objectives and partnership

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.

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Root2Res is launched!

The project Kick-Off Meeting was held in France from September 14 to 16

ARVALIS