Adapting mediterranean vegetable crops to climate change-induced multiple stress

VEG-ADAPT is an international research project approved under the PRIMA - IS call 2018 that will span 1 October 2019 - 30 September 2022. The budget is 2 mio. €, shared among 13 partners in 8 countries (UNITO coordinator).

Major changes in climate are threatening food security and putting at risk the economic sustainability of both small family and industrial farms, causing and worsening environmental stresses such as drought, heat, and salinity, which are strictly interconnected and lower the amount of water available for crops. These have been increasing over time, especially in the Mediterranean area, where vegetable crops are more and more exposed to single and multiple abiotic stresses. Improving plant resilience to stress in correctly planned crop management systems is key to achieve crop adaptation to climate change-induced stress. The specific goals of VEG-ADAPT are being pursued on tomato, pepper and melon, and are i) to characterise genetic and physiological traits providing tolerance and resilience to drought, heat, and salinity; ii) to adapt crop management systems to tolerant/resilient varieties; and iii) to profile and/or develop new stress-adapted genotypes by exploiting local genetic diversity as well as novel genotypes and hybrids. Our research group at PlantStressLab is mainly working at characterising the role of hydraulic conductivity, and of specific phytohormones and signalling regulators in tolerance to drought and salinity in tomato; and in screening tomato and pepper germplasm for natural variation in resilience towards abiotic stresses.

Coordinator and principal investigator: Andrea Schubert

Project website:

Project start 1 October 2019, duration 36 months

Financial support: VEG-ADAPT partner National Funding Agencies, coordinated by PRIMA Foundation

Total financing: 2.000.000 €

Total financing to UNITO: 408000 €