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Enhancing resource Uptake from Roots under stress in cereal crops (EURoot): an international, multldisciplinary initiative for adapting cereals to climate instability and resource scarcity

Guiderdoni E.. 2015. In : Tardieu F. (ed.), Draye X. (ed.), Charcosset A. (ed.), Hammer G. (ed.), Usadel B. (ed.), Tuberosa R. (ed.), Welker C. (ed.), Boerner A. (ed.), Simic D.(ed.), Boller B. (ed.). Recent progress in drought tolerance: from genetics to modelling conference handbook. Montpellier : INRA-Transfert, p. 117-117. EUCARPIA Conference "Recent progress in drought tolerance: from genetics to modelling", 2015-06-08/2015-06-09, Montpellier (France).

The EURoot consortium gathers 20 partners including SMEs joinlng their efforts to enhance maize, barley, rice and durum wheat capability to acquire water and nutrients through their roots and maintain growth and performance under stress conditions. From 2012, EURoot has been conducting a suite of experiments integrated into 3 work packages (WPs) designed to better understand and model: i. The genetic and functional bases of root traits lnvolved in soli exploration and resource uptake (WPl), ii. The blo-geochemical properties of the soil, including beneficial association wlth mycorrhizal fungl, influencing extraction of nutrlents and water by the root system (WP2) and iii. The plant slgnaling processes involved in soli environment sensing and responsible for adaptlve root system response enhanclng soil exploration and resource acquisition (WP3). In addition, two platform WPs aliow the sharing of innovative phenotyping and imaging methods tested for their relevance to field conditions (WP4) and integration of root architecture, resource dynamics in the soil and root uptake through multi scale modeling, to design root ideotypes allowing enhanced resource acquisition under stress (WPS). We will lllustrate the consortium progresses accomplished so far in; 1. identifying cereal root-related genes through QTLJassociatlon mapping and mutant screen; il. studying maize root development and placement under low/heterogeneous nutrient and topsoil drying in rhizotron and field: iii. investigating molecular and biochemical signais in drought- or nitrogen- stressed maize roots, iv. acquiring data from root phenotyping and imaging platforms that can be used for calibrating model-based analysis of root trajectories and soil-root functional models. EURoot results wili be further translated into screening methods, models and tools to guide the challenging improvement for root traits that aliow enhanced water and nutrient capture.

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