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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.2-04 | Award Amount: 4.89M | Year: 2012

ADAPTAWHEAT will show how flowering time variation can be exploited for the genetic improvement of the European wheat crop to optimise adaptation and performance in the light of predicted climate change. It will test current hypotheses that postulate specific changes in ear emergence and the timing and duration of developmental phases, which are thought of as components of ear emergence, will improve wheat productivity. Precise genetic stocks varying in specific flowering time elements and subjected to genotyping and characterisation with diagnostic markers for key flowering time genes will be used to test these hypotheses. They will be phenotyped at the molecular (transcript abundance), physiological (growth stage dissection) and agronomic (yield components) levels in multiple field trials located at sites in Europe that represent regional agricultural diversity and at non European locations that have mega environments of relevance. Controlled environment experiments will investigate specific environmental interactions including day length, ambient temperature, and heat stress. Data analysis will aid the construction of new wheat flowering models that can be used to refine existing hypotheses. They will allow standing genetic variation for flowering time in European germplasm to be deployed more efficiently in wheat breeding programmes. This knowledge will be used to inform searches for specific phenotypic and molecular variants in diverse and non adapted wheat germplasm panels provided by consortium members. Vital novel genetic variation will be efficiently imported into the germplasm of European wheat breeders. The project will deliver new diagnostic markers for genotyping, molecular reporters for novel breeding selection strategies and the tools and knowledge necessary for a combined physiology and genomics led predictive wheat breeding programme. A conduit for these outcomes will be three SMEs, who will exploit the tools developed to deliver these outcomes.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.5-02 | Award Amount: 1.21M | Year: 2013

The objective of the PreSto GMO ERA-Net project is to clearly map out the steps needed to create and successfully implement an ERA-Net that will coordinate transnational research on the effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the areas of human and animal health, the environment, and techno- economics and societies. The focus of the ERA-Net will be on GMOs intentionally released into the environment and/or used immediately in feed and food applications. PreSto GMO ERA-Net brings together ministries, agencies, and funding bodies from different Members States and the scientific community to jointly prepare a strategic plan and roadmap for the implementation of the ERA-Net. In addition, the ERA-Net will explicitly take into account the wider views of a diversity of stakeholders and end-users (e.g. non-governmental organisations, industry, farmers). This is intended to strengthen ownership of the ERA-Net among stakeholders in order to encourage participation of different scientific communities in the future joint transnational calls, to enhance collaboration between actors and to increase the accountability of research trajectories and outcomes. The results of the project will form the basis for a robust ERA-Net proposal. In achieving this the project work will (1) promote the accessibility of existing scientific information to interested stakeholders and end-users, (2) lead to the harmonisation of research requirements and capacity building within Europe, (3) complement international developments, (4) contribute to a more efficient use of research funds internationally and (5) identify how strategic collaboration can be used to respond to these future research and training needs through enhancement of durable partnerships.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-02b-2015 | Award Amount: 7.63M | Year: 2016

European crop production is to remain competitive while reducing environmental impacts, requiring development and uptake of effective soil improving cropping systems. The overall aim of SOILCARE is to identify and evaluate promising soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques increasing profitability and sustainability across scales in Europe. A trans-disciplinary approach will be used to evaluate benefits and drawbacks of a new generation of soil improving cropping systems, incorporating all relevant bio-physical, socio-economic and political aspects. Existing information from literature and long term experiments will be analysed to develop a comprehensive methodology for assessing performance of cropping systems at multiple levels. A multi-actor approach will be used to select promising soil-improving cropping systems for scientific evaluation in 16 study sites across Europe covering different pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions. Implemented cropping systems will be monitored with stakeholder involvement, and will be assessed jointly with scientists. Specific attention will be paid to adoption of soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques within and beyond the study sites. Results from study sites will be up-scaled to the European level to draw general lessons about applicability potentials of soil-improving cropping systems and related profitability and sustainability impacts, including assessing barriers for adoption at that scale. An interactive tool will be developed for end-users to identify and prioritize suitable soil-improving cropping systems anywhere in Europe. Current policies and incentives will be assessed and targeted policy recommendations will be provided. SOILCARE will take an active dissemination approach to achieve impact from local to European level, addressing multiple audiences, to enhance crop production in Europe to remain competitive and sustainable through dedicated soil care.

The efficacy of 30 aromatic compounds and their mutual binary combinations was assessed for acute toxicity against the larvae Culex quinquefasciatus. Based on comparison of the lethal doses, thymol and p-cymene were selected as the most effective (LD50 = 18 and 21 mg L−1, respectively, and LD90 = 25 and 30 mg L−1, respectively). Although the LD50 for terpinolene and trans-anethole was also estimated at 21 mg L−1, their LD90 was significantly higher compared to the substances above (245 and 34 mg L−1, respectively). In total, 435 binary combinations were tested, of which 249 combinations showed a significant synergistic effect, while 74 combinations showed a significant antagonistic effect on mortality. Only nine substances were identified as being able to create a synergistic effect with more than 20 substances: limonene, trans-anethole, 4-allylanisole, carvacrol, isoeugenol, menthone, carvone, borneol, and camphor. The highest synergistic effect on larval mortality was achieved for the combinations: eugenol and isoeugenol, carvone and carvacrol, carvone and 4-allylanisole, carvone and α-terpineol, carvone and menthone, limonene and trans-anethole, limonene and menthone, α-pinene and menthone, β-citronellol and menthone, carvacrol and 4-allylanisole, carvacrol and terpineol, α-terpinene and trans-anethole, camphor and menthone, camphene and menthone, and 4-allylanisole and menthone. Significant differences between achieved mortality and the mutual mixing ratio were found for the five selected binary mixtures that had shown the most significant synergistic effect in the previous tests. The mixture of limonene and trans-anethole showed the highest mortality, with the mixing ratio 1:1; the mixture of eugenol and isoeugenol caused 90.2 % mortality, with the mixing ratio 1:3. One hundred percent mortality was achieved if carvacrol was contained in a mixture with carvone in a ratio >2. After a comparison of all our results, based on our experiments, we can choose two pairs that caused mortality higher than 90 % in concentrations lower than 20 mg L−1: limonene and trans-anethole (with the mixing ratio 1:1), and carvone and carvacrol (with the mixing ratio 1:2–3). The information gained can thus be used in the development of new botanical insecticides based on essential oils (EOs) and particularly in the creation of formulations. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Jarosova J.,Czech Republic Crop Research Institute
BMC plant biology | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND: Reference genes are commonly used as the endogenous normalisation measure for the relative quantification of target genes. The appropriate application of quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR), however, requires the use of reference genes whose level of expression is not affected by the test, by general physiological conditions or by inter-individual variability. For this purpose, seven reference genes were investigated in tissues of the most important cereals (wheat, barley and oats). Titre of Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) was determined in oats using relative quantification with different reference genes and absolute quantification, and the results were compared. RESULTS: The expression of seven potential reference genes was evaluated in tissues of 180 healthy, physiologically stressed and virus-infected cereal plants. These genes were tested by RT-qPCR and ranked according to the stability of their expression using three different methods (two-way ANOVA, GeNorm and NormFinder tools). In most cases, the expression of all genes did not depend on abiotic stress conditions or virus infections. All the genes showed significant differences in expression among plant species. Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), beta-tubulin (TUBB) and 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) always ranked as the three most stable genes. On the other hand, elongation factor-1 alpha (EF1A), eukaryotic initiation factor 4a (EIF4A), and 28S ribosomal RNA (28S rRNA) for barley and oat samples; and alpha-tubulin (TUBA) for wheat samples were consistently ranked as the less reliable controls.The BYDV titre was determined in two oat varieties by RT-qPCR using three different quantification approaches. There were no significant differences between the absolute and relative quantifications, or between quantification using GAPDH + TUBB + TUBA +18S rRNA and EF1A + EIF4A + 28S rRNA. However, there were discrepancies between the results of individual assays. CONCLUSIONS: The geometric average of GAPDH, 18S rRNA and TUBB is suitable for normalisation of BYDV quantification in barley tissues. For wheat and oat samples, a combination of four genes is necessary: GAPDH, 18S rRNA, TUBB and EIF4A for wheat; and GAPDH, 18S rRNA, TUBB and TUBA for oat is recommended.

Pavela R.,Czech Republic Crop Research Institute
Industrial Crops and Products | Year: 2011

The essential oils from 9 aromatic plants were tested on repellency and mortality of Meligethes aeneus adults. All the tested essential oils caused high mortality of M. aeneus adults in the tarsal tests. The lethal doses after 6h exposure were ranged between 197 and 1508μgcm-2. Essential oils obtained from Carum carvi and Thymus vulgaris were most efficient where LD50 was estimated as 197 and 250μgcm-2, respectively.Repellency declined in all the essential oils as a function of time. The longest persistence time was determined for essences obtained from C. carvi and T. vulgaris where significantly the highest repellent index of 65.6% and 63.8%, respectively, was determined. Repellent index lower than 15% was determined for the remaining essential oils. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Pavela R.,Czech Republic Crop Research Institute
Industrial Crops and Products | Year: 2014

The efficacy of 30 aromatic compounds and their mutual binary combinations was tested for acute toxicity against the larvae Spodoptera littoralis. Based on a comparison of the lethal doses, the thymol, carvacrol and trans-anethole were selected as the most effective, and LD50 was estimated for them at 9, 15 and 18μg/larva, respectively, and LD90 at 28, 35 and 41μg/larva, respectively. In total, 435 binary combinations were tested, of which 135 combinations showed a significant synergic effect, while 150 combinations showed a significant antagonistic effect on mortality. Only 6 substances were identified as being able to create a synergic effect with more than 20 substances: γ-terpinene, limonene, p-cymene, trans-anethole, borneol and camphor. l-carvone and gallic acid created an antagonistic effect with the highest frequency.The highest synergic effect was achieved for the combination of camphor and borneol, with the place of expected mortality estimated at 4.8% and mortality at 88.6%. In order to verify the synergic interaction of camphor and borneol, the effectiveness in terms of acute toxicity for S. littoralis larvae was determined for three fundamental mixing ratios of the substances. Significantly different LD50 values (88 and 134μg/larva, respectively) were found for camphor/borneol mixtures prepared in the ratios 2:1 and 1:1, respectively.The information learned can thus be used in the development of new botanical insecticides based on EOs, and particularly in the creation of formulations. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Muhlbachova G.,Czech Republic Crop Research Institute
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2011

A 40-day incubation experiment was carried out in order to evaluate the microbial activities and heavy metal availability in long-term contaminated arable and grassland soils after addition of EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) or EDDS ([S,S]-ethylenediaminedisuccinic acid). Soils with similar contamination of heavy metal from the vicinity of a lead smelter were used in the experiment. The soil microbial carbon (Cmic) decreased significantly after addition of EDTA in the arable soil (CM1); lesser effects were observed in the grassland soil (CM2). Addition of EDDS caused a decrease of Cmic during the first 10 days of incubation. In the later phases of the experiment, Cmic increased, and even exceeded the amounts found in the control soils. Respiratory activities and metabolic quotients (qCO2) increased after the addition of the chelating agents into the soils. Higher respiratory activities and qCO2 were observed in the EDTA-treated soils. The readily available heavy metal fractions were extracted with NH4NO3 solution. Readily mobilizable heavy metal fractions of Cd, Pb, Zn, and (in part) Cu increased during the first 3-10 days of incubation in the presence of EDTA. The addition of EDDS particularly increased concentrations of available Cu. Significant correlations between NH4NO3-extractable metals, soil respiratory activities, and qCO2 were found in both soil treatments with EDTA and EDDS. This indicates that enhanced metal mobility seriously affects the microbial processes in experimental soils. In addition, the relationships between NH4NO3-extractable Cd, Cu, and the microbial biomass were found in the CM1 soil amended with EDTA. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Pavela R.,Czech Republic Crop Research Institute
Parasitology Research | Year: 2011

Thirteen simple phenols and 8 phenolic acids were tested for toxicity to Culex quinquefasciatus larvae and Musca domestica adults. It was found that while the phenolic acids (except salicylic acid) showed little or no effect on acute toxicity, all the tested simple phenols caused mortality within 24 h after application. Lethal doses for acute toxicity of C. quinquefasciatus were successfully estimated for 12 substances using probit analysis. Thymol, carvacrol, 2-ethylphenol, and salicylaldehyde showed significantly the highest efficiency, for which the lethal doses LD50 were estimated as 30, 36, 38, and 43 μg/ml, respectively. Lethal doses for acute toxicity of M. domestica adults were successfully estimated for ten substances. Thymol, carvacrol, and 2,6-dimethoxyphenol showed significantly the highest efficiency, for which the lethal doses LD50 were estimated 53, 69, and 87 μg/fly, respectively. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Consumers have increasing demands for healthy, nutritious, and innovative food produced sustainably. Minor cereals can address these points, as well as contributing to feed and non-food markets. However, they have been hardly developed as commercial varieties, with no major investment to exploit genetic diversity in breeding programmes, and have low yields. There has been little research to optimise agronomy, food processing and marketing. HealthyMinorCereals will apply state of the art methods for genetic characterisation and phenotyping of >800 genotypes of 5 minor cereal species (spelt, rye, oat, einkorn and emmer). The project will select traits related to yield, nutritional quality and disease resistance, especially targeting important and emerging crop diseases, to identify well characterised genotypes for development of minor cereal varieties and cross breeding. Field experiments in 4 contrasting climatic zones in Europe will optimise agronomy within the organic and low-input sector, addressing gene x environment interactions, fertilization and potential benefits of agronomic management suited to improve yields in each country, and culminating with innovative on-farm trials. The project will investigate variation in nutritional quality of selected genotypes and analyse biological effects of seed extracts in human cell lines. Parameters of grain important for food manufacture will be investigated with optimisation of milling and other processes to maximise nutritional quality. Food industry partners will use selected minor cereal grains to develop new food products that will be demonstrated with production trials, standardisation and sensory analysis. A study on market potential will investigate factors involved in the development of minor cereals in various European markets and develop a framework for enhancing this potential. The project consortium has a major involvement of SME partners involved in breeding, farming, and food production with minor cereals.

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