Global climate change becomes a major threat to agricultural sustainability, food security and social stability because of higher temperatures, greater aridity and more frequent erratic climate events. This situation not only concerns the Mediterranean regions but also central and northern Europe. Enhancing crop resilience to climate change is a major challenge for the global agricultural community. In the drier, hotter and more carbon dioxide-laden Earth predicted, C4 plants will be favoured. Humans will therefore rely heavily on C4 crops, which already have a resurgence in Europe for human food and animal feed.
C4FUTURE will use technological assets to enhance climate change resilience in two C4 cereal crops (maize and sorghum). It will exploit the natural variation in diversity panels to enhance adaptation to nitrogen and water stresses (already major constrains on crop productivity and expected to accentuate due to climate change). A key to this project is in situ phenotyping of germplasm collections under various stress combinations across four Mediterranean sites, representing a climatic gradient. Advanced root and shoot phenotyping, integrative phenomic data collection, systems biology and genome mapping approaches to identify candidate genes underlying the response of these two crops to nitrogen deficiency and drought will be employed.
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.