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Accelerated Development of multiple-stress tolerAnt PoTato


ADAPT identifies molecular mechanisms of adaptation to combined stress in potato to develop new strategies for the improvement of productivity, yield stability and product quality under multiple stress conditions. Potato is one of the most important food crops worldwide and a major constraint to secure yield is its sensitivity to environmental stresses, particularly heat and drought, which is often followed by flooding in the field. Whilst limited knowledge of combined stress signalling pathways is available in model plants such as Arabidopsis, this knowledge is almost completely lacking in crops. These adaptation mechanisms require metabolic reprogramming that is triggered by different signalling pathways. To understand the dynamics of complex signalling and response mechanisms our approach will utilise several technological advances (for example high throughput phenotyping and novel sensor plants). These tools will guide us to the key developmental stages and tissues for in depth analysis allowing unprecedented dissection of these processes. The approach requires complementary expertise from 10 leading academic research institutions with 4 major potato breeders, and a screening technology developer. This unique combination of molecular biology, stress physiology, systems biology and analytics with engineering and molecular breeding as well as the active participation of end-user driven agencies for variety testing and potato trading ensure translation of ADAPT results. Arising from our mechanistic understanding, our expected results will include new breeding targets and the potential to match potato varieties to specific environmental conditions. Knowledge from our research will directly reach the most relevant stakeholders and end-users feeding into breeding programmes and guiding technology development for improved crop management strategies. Thus we anticipate that ADAPT will have a game changing impact on potato breeding and management strategies.

Universitaet Wien
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