The strategic objectives of EU-SOL are to understand the factors that affect consumer-driven and environmentally-directed quality of the two most important vegetable products in the EU, tomato fruits and potato tubers, both belonging to the Solanaceae. To this end, EU-SOL will attempt to dissect the genetic and molecular components that control these quality traits by applying state-of-the-art knowledge and technologies. <P>
EU-SOL particularly focuses on mapping, isolation and characterization of genes responsible for traits important for consumers and processors (health, nutrition, flavour, fragrance, soluble solids, texture, colour, shelf-life) as well as for producers (abiotic stress: cold, heat, drought, salt), and the mechanisms underlying these traits (control of gene activity, regulatory networks).<P>
To accomplish these objectives EU-SOL will explore and exploit the natural biodiversity related to these quality traits that are largely unexplored and hardly used in current commercial varieties. EU-SOL will apply genomics and post-genomics research approaches and will contribute to the International Solanaceae Genome Initiative.
EU-SOL is a network of plant scientists from universities, research institutes and industry within the EU, Israel and INCO countries that focuses on the development of high quality and healthy tomato and potato varieties with improved consumer-, processor- and producer-directed traits. Quality and wholesomeness of food and food products are two issues addressed prominently by society especially in relation to obesity (and atherosclerosis), the most important cause of cardiovascular disease, age-related dise ases, such as cancer and diabetes and to the increasing preference of consumers for regional and niche food specialties. Additionally producers are challenged by environmental constraints such as diminishing fresh water supplies and climate change that undermine stability of production.
<P>For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/094_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.