PlantStressLab - TOMRES
A novel and integrated approach to increase multiple and combined stress tolerance in plants using tomato as a model
Tomato is a main EU agricultural commodity, cultivated all over Europe in open and protected field and in glasshouses, representing a biological and agronomical model crop. Combined water and nutrient stress is a major problem for tomato farmers and solutions are needed to safeguard yields, while preserving the environment.
The overall goal of TOMRES is to enhance resilience to combined water and nutrient stress in tomato and to maximize water (WUE) and nutrient use efficiency (NUE) by designing and testing in the field (open and protected) novel combinations of genotypes and management practices reducing the environmental impact of agricultural activities.
To this aim, TOMRES will select, among over 10,000 available accessions, rootstocks and scions tolerating combined stress, while retaining fruit quality and yield, taking advantage of innovative screening approaches. Novel traits, in particular belowground, to be exploited in breeding, will be identified. The role of selected hormones (strigolactones and brassinosteroids) will be studied to identify further resilience traits. TOMRES will test and optimize sustainable crop management strategies such as legume intercropping, precision fertilization and irrigation techniques, manipulation of symbiotic microorganisms, and the use of rootstocks more suited to water and nutrient uptake from the soil.
Novel genotypes X management strategies will be developed with the goal of reducing N and P application by at least 20%, water input by 40%, while granting environmental sustainability and economic viability of the solutions proposed. Testing will be integrated with analysis of environmental (greenhouse emissions, water quality), and of socio-economic impact. Agronomical, environmental, and economical data will be processed to construction of models and of a Decision Support System.
Demonstration and dissemination activities will follow the whole course of the project, and will transfer the results to different environments and other cropping systems, thus ensuring the widest impact of the gained knowledge on the EU economy. Trans-disciplinary knowledge transfer among farmers, breeders, industries, associations and scientists will be granted by a solid multi-actor approach since the planning stage.
Coordinator and principal investigator: Andrea Schubert
Project website: http://www.tomres.eu
Project start 1 June 2017, duration 42 months
Financial support: European Commission
Total financing: 5996175 €
Total financing to UNITO: 872895 €