The Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Rosario (IBR-CONICET-UNR) joins a new international network of scientific leaders, composed of research centers from Europe and Africa, focused on the development of ‘molecular priming’ technologies to improve crop performance under stressful conditions caused by climate change.
The project is called “CropPrime” and has been funded with 1 million euros under the HORIZON-Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions program of the European Union (Grant Agreement ID: 101086366).
CropPrime will focus on the development of novel technologies to enhance crop tolerance to stress associated with climate change. This includes the development of plant biostimulants, using sustainably derived natural compounds from marine and terrestrial sources such as algae, seaweed, fungi, and plants. The project will also develop RNA-based fungicides to reduce fungal infection in crops. The findings of this research will lead to the development of a new generation of sustainable agrotechnological products that will help growers “prime” and protect their crops against adverse and stressful weather conditions, such as drought, heat, cold, root asphyxia, and various pathogens—stress conditions that are increasing in incidence due to climate change.
The consortium is composed of leading academic institutions in plant research, including VIB-Plant Systems Biology in Ghent (Belgium), The James Hutton Institute (United Kingdom), Mendel University in Brno and the Biology Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Czech Republic), and the Center of Plant Systems Biology and Biotechnology (Bulgaria). Along with industry partner BioAtlantis (Ireland), the network will develop new products for plant protection that enable effective flow of information and expertise across EU member states and sectors.
The two partners outside the EU, the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) and IBR-CONICET (Argentina), will expand the network across three continents (Europe, Africa, and South America), ensuring access to unique expertise and the global impact of the research. The IBR Laboratory of Plant-Pathogen Functional Genomics managed by María Rosa Marano heads the project.
BioAtlantis is an Irish-owned biotechnology company employing over 50 people at its headquarters in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. The company is a leading innovator in the Irish bioeconomy and sells plant biostimulants in over 30 countries worldwide. The company’s involvement in CropPrime is based on its strong reputation in the European biotechnology sector and its delivery of sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for farmers worldwide.
For more information about the project, please visit https://www.cropprime.eu/