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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-03 | Award Amount: 6.90M | Year: 2014

WHEALBI will combine genomics, genetics and agronomy to improve European wheat and barley production in competitive and sustainable cropping systems. Germplasm representing the species diversity will be selected and characterised in unprecedented detail by next-generation-sequencing. Life history and adaptive traits will be evaluated in both transnational field experiments and a state-of-the-art precision phenotyping platform. Germplasm will be stored in a specialised and accessible bio-repository and associated data in knowledge bases that will represent a valuable legacy to the community. Whole genome association scans will be conducted for several traits, signatures of adaptive selection will be explored, and allele mining of candidate genes will reveal new variation associated with specific phenotypes. Pre-breeding tools and pipelines will be developed to optimize the efficiency of allele transfer from unadapted germplasm into elite breeding lines. New methodologies will explore how to optimally exploit the large amount of new genotypic and phenotypic data available. They will focus on the design of ideotypes with improved yield stability and tolerance to biotic and climatic stresses and provide proof of concept of the efficiency of genome and phenome assisted selection. Ideotypes and reference varieties will be evaluated in innovative cropping systems, particularly organic farming and no-till agriculture, and an economic evaluation of these approaches will be conducted. The results will be disseminated to a broad user community, highlighting the benefits and issues associated with the adoption of what is considered sustainable and environmentally friendly wheat and barley crop production in a European context. WHEALBI aims to help the EU remain a major actor in world small grain cereal production while addressing the pressing global priorities of increasing and stabilising primary production, improving food quality and safety, and reducing environmental impact.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 783.00K | Year: 2016

ExpoSEED aims to integrate forward and reverse genetic approaches to dissect the molecular mechanisms that control seed/kernel (hereafter referred as seed) yield in model species and to transfer the acquired knowledge to selected crops as legumes and cereals. The identification of molecular hubs that determine seed number and size will put the basis for the development of breeding tools to improve seed production at the beginning of the seed market. Research on model species has recently allowed to identify key transcription factors that regulate plant reproduction together with exploring the conservation of the molecular mechanisms that finally control the plant fitness in distantly related species. The next challenge is now to deeper dissect the molecular networks controlled by these key factors to finally manipulate agronomic traits. The partners of ExpoSEED will identify the targets of key transcription factors in model species as Arabidopsis and rice and they will transfer this knowledge to crops, as soybean, wheat and barley. Candidate target genes will be further characterized using genetic and cell-biology tools together with searching new alleles in large panel of wild and cultivated germplasm. As a parallel approach, germplasm collections and segregating populations will be used for mapping studies to identify novel factors controlling seed yield in legumes and cereals. ExpoSEED aims to create synergies to efficiently address scientific and societal issues. From the scientific perspective, now is the right moment: a number of completed crop genome sequences and novel genetic and cell biology tools will support the comparative biology approaches aimed in this project. Considering the societal issue, food security is a worldwide priority: in the context of population growth and less arable land, increasing food production is one of the challenges for this century

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-01 | Award Amount: 4.58M | Year: 2013

Agricultural residues could represent a good source of biomass to convert into energy in particular wherever it is impractical to convert cropland to energy crop cultivation . According to FAOs reportage (1997) , large quantities of ligneous biomass can be obtained from pruning operations carried out in Mediterranean fruit plantations. Agricultural residues therefore play an important role in any analysis of biomass availability for a specific area. For this reason it is important to conduct a thorough study of the types of permanent crops in Europe and the potential of biomass obtained by its pruning. There is a big potential market in pruning residues, mainly power generation but not only. Nowadays these types of residues are just taken apart from the filed and used locally, Leaving on the ground a potential profitable business for farmers, logistic companies and final users. Nowadays the pruning means just a cost for the farmers, but with a new implemented logistic chain they could take advantage in order to sell this product in the biomass market and providing a new business model for logistic operators, biomass sellers and final users, which could find a bigger amount of resources and a decreasing of the costs. It already exists and implemented and developed logistic chain for straw residues, but there is not for pruning.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.2.5-02 | Award Amount: 7.20M | Year: 2014

EnReMilk will achieve significant water and energy savings in representative dairy case studies, mozzarella and milk powder production, across the supply chain. The dairy industry is an important food industry sector with sales of 124.3 billion and added value of 17.4 billion p.a. It is a high energy and water consumer, both overall and per unit production: up to 6.47 MWh (5.55 MWhth and 0.92 MWhel) and 60 m3 of water per tonne processed milk. 98 % of the fresh water used is of drinking water quality with 80% of energy consumed in process heating, pasteurisation, sterilisation, drying and cleaning operations. During EnReMilk, energy savings of at least 20% and water savings of at least 30% will be achieved in case studies (3 months production), replicable in both SME and larger dairies. These savings will be validated against a consumption baseline of existing operation, being validated in model simulations and in physical trials. Emerging and novel engineering technologies will be optimised and implemented in key dairy unit operations to provide significant and simultaneous saving of water and energy, while ensuring food quality and safety. It will: (i) identify and monitor water and energy consumption patterns of along the entire supply chain, (ii) model and simulate to evaluate savings potential of a vast array of technological scenarios, (iii) optimise selected technologies in case studies with highest water and energy saving potential, (iv) optimise resource supply and use strategies, and (v) ensure benefits for food producers and equipment manufacturers, while reconciling sustainability imperatives. It will ensure a smooth translation into practical implementation, providing an innovation-driven increase in the competitiveness of the EU dairy sector. EnReMilk will ensure that engineering innovations are verified as environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially responsible, and that food quality and safety is not compromised.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-04 | Award Amount: 8.53M | Year: 2014

The DROPSA consortium will create new knowledge and understanding of the damage and losses of fruit crops resulting from pests and pathogens, with a specific focus on the new and emerging threats due to Drosophila suzukii and quarantine pathogens Pseudomonas syringae, Xanthomonas fragariae and X. arboricola. The project will deliver a cost effective approach that can be widely implemented by the EU fruit industry. The aims and objectives are to: Determine the pathways of introduction and spread of D. suzukii and pathogens into the EU and develop preventative strategies and recommendations against the introduction of other dangerous fruit pests and pathogens. Determine the biology, ecology and interaction of these pests and diseases in different regions of Europe. This will involve a comprehensive evaluation of the life cycles, host ranges, capacities to disperse, the identification of natural enemies, plant-pathogen interactions as well as the semiochemicals involved in the behaviour of D. suzukii. The biology will provide the platform to develop practical solutions for sustainable pest control. Develop innovative and effective control options using approved chemicals, semiochemicals, novel antimicrobial compounds and biological control agents as well as cultural practices, sterile insect techniques and new mode of action compounds. The most reliable and effective control options will be combined to optimise an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy. Develop forecasting and decision support systems and risk mapping as a component of IPM. The economic viability of proposed strategies for fruit crop protection will be evaluated and used to support decision making in the implementation of IPM strategies to protect the EU fruit sector. To protect intellectual property (IP) and to undertake dissemination and exploitation actions to maximise the impact and up take of the recommended IPM by commercial fruit growers.

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