FA COST Action FA1306
The quest for tolerant varieties - Phenotyping at plant and cellular level
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Crops have been bred to improve production, paying less attention to stress. Stress is mitigated by treatments such as irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers. These managements have reduced the use of plant genetic resources in overcoming crop limitations so that some species/varieties containing useful sources of tolerance are forgotten. However, the use of pesticides, fertilizer and water must be reduced and agriculture must become more sustainable. While significant progress has been made in molecular and genetic analysis of model plants, the quantitative high throughput screening for crops is a major bottleneck. Reliable identification of tolerant varieties and the understanding of their genetic diversity are urgently needed. Phenotyping is an emerging science that characterises plant behaviour and quantifies features such as growth and stress tolerance in a way that allows linking to genetic control. This Action will create a network of European scientists with expertise on phenotyping, various -omics areas and/or physiology to (re)discover tolerant varieties and to understand tolerance. The Action will survey knowledge about plant biodiversity with respect to stress tolerance and will share and group existing expertise into discussions and conceptual development of new tools in phenotyping by integrating information from the cellular level to the whole plant level.
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