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Research objectives

Objective 1

To provide a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms determining drought tolerance in Populus, Miscanthus and Arundo  for the control of growth and transpiration efficiency in response to water stress.

Objective 2

To provide a database and modelling platform of ‘water stress response’ trait information,  from laboratory to phenotyping platform to field for three novel biomass crops and quantifying these responses for  a wide range of new germplasm developed in the project.

Objective 3

To support innovative molecular breeding/genetic optimisation by deploying next generation sequencing data, in 4 different, innovative approaches (RNASeq, GWAS, induced and natural mutagenesis and genetical genomics), for gene discovery, genetic optimisation  and supply of new material to partners’ breeding programmes. .

Objective 4

To deploy GM technologies to test importance of single genes for drought tolerance.

Objective 5

.To assess field environmental performance of the new crop plants in a range of environments, on marginal soils, spanning the European agro-climatic zones, to inform the selection of superior genotypes

Objective 6

To train the next generation of multidisciplinary non-food crop bioscientists and technologists through workshops, seminars and science exchanges and to ensure spreading of excellence between academics and SMEs.

Objective 7

To maximise the impact of the project by enabling users shape the project, engagement with users, coordinating exploitation and dissemination through  stakeholder workshops and additional ‘Local Fora’ meetings, a delivery and communications strategy, targeted dissemination and coordinated exploitation, and through optimising the development of critical mass in this 22 partner consortium, especially through using industrial partners for fostering impact.