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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2013-02-04 - 2013-03-01

The intend of the cooperation between the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences and Pioneer is to provide a technical training Pioneer research staff for Eastern Europe. The training is being designed for University graduates (MSc. or BSc.) to prepare them for specific need executing world class Science in plant breeding and field testing focused on corn and sunflower. As there is almost no University or Institute training arranged anymore almost all Associates, Senior Research Associates or Scientists should go through this introductory training.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-03-01 - 2026-02-28

Winegrape production is one of the most economically important agrosystems in Europe. Grapevine has a large breadth of genetic diversity at the rootstock, variety, and clone levels. Unfortunately, very little of this diversity is currently utilized and its potential role in abiotic stress response has not been properly quantified. This leaves growers with the open-question of which is the best tool(s) to adapt their vineyards to specific environmental challenges (e.g. heatwaves, drought, waterlogging, etc). At the scientific level, it is essential to understand the genetic plasticity of rootstocks, varieties and clones (and their interactions) to further adapt and improve the current planting material and to preserve the genetic diversity of grape varieties used across Europe. Standards for physiological traits need to be defined, and the influence of the diverse genetic backgrounds to the value and flexibility of these traits under different environmental conditions needs to be understood. With this in mind, project DiverGrape has been designed including partners from four European countries with varying environmental and vineyard conditions. The partnership will exchange pre-doctoral and postdoc researchers using a standardized methodological approach based on both eco-physiology and metabolomics tools to quantify the contribution to environmental response of: i) clonal variation within given local varieties, ii) rootstock material for a given variety and ii) the interaction between rootstock and scion. Taking advantage of existing vineyards with a variety of genetic material located in different European viticulture areas, the partnership will quantify how environment drives grapevine plasticity to specific climates. The results obtained through project DiverGrape will provide grape growers with the knowledge to optimize the existing grapevine genetic diversity in order to adapt their vineyards to more extreme climate situations.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-07-01 - 2022-10-31

European cereal production experiences an ongoing intensification on wheat and barley at the expense of minor cereals including einkorn, emmer, oat, rye and spelt. This specialisation leads to continuous loss in agricultural biodiversity and marginalisation of traditional land management systems. A diversification of cropping systems by minor cereals offer benefits with respect to agronomic management, grain processing, nutritional quality, health promotion and numerous ecosystem services. Enhanced plant breeding efforts are of strategic importance to improve the competitiveness of minor cereals in European agriculture. Rye is the only cross-pollinated small-grain cereal, which results in a unique complexity concerning the genetic improvement of rye and underlines the need for rye-specific research concepts. Plant architectural traits are important breeding targets to improve crops yield potential and food security. The overall goal of RYE-SUS is to develop, test and model gibberellin-sensitive semi-dwarf rye genotypes with optimized harvest index, improved lodging resistance, high yield potential and drought tolerance as well as minimised risk of ergot infestation for a sustainable intensification also in marginal production environments. To improve rye competitiveness in European agriculture, RYE-SUS aims to i) make use of hybrid breeding as a cutting edge technology of crop improvement and genome-based precision breeding to increase target-specific selection efficiency and accelerate breeding processes in rye, ii) develop new genotypes leading to improved lodging and drought tolerance, iii) proof the practical potential of genotypes with a novel plant architecture in target environments, which challenge rye cultivation by potentially growth-limiting factors such as drought, frost, or nutrient deficiencies, iv) minimize the risk of extremely toxic ergot alkaloids in the harvest, v) exploit natural genetic diversity in adaptive traits and develop new molecular technologies which support niche range expansion of highly productive rye hybrids in cold climate ecosystems, and vi) develop and exploit a crop model to simulate the growth and development of rye under potentially growth-limiting factors as a tool to support novel integrated pest and crop management methods and practices.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations