No miracles, efficient approaches".
DROPS develops novel methods and strategies aimed at improving yield under naturally-occurring water deficits and at enhancing water-use efficiency. It uses for that an approach combining precision phenotyping in platforms and in the field, whole-genome association genetics, hormonal and omic measurements and ecophysiological modelling. The consortium gathers groups which are expert in Physiology, Genetics, field testing and Ecophysiological modelling.
The project targets four traits :
- seed abortion,
- vegetative growth and architecture,
- root system architecture and,
- transpiration efficiency.
It deals with maize and durum wheat, plus bread wheat for specific tasks.
During DROPS project, we:
- Develop new screens for identifying drought tolerant genotypes, from phenotyping platforms to the field with indicators which are (i) stable characteristics of genotypes with high heritability in phenotyping platforms (ii) based on novel knowledge (e.g. combinations of metabolite concentrations, sensitivity parameters of models or hormonal balances) (iii) genetically related to target traits and able to predict genotype performance in the field via simulation and/or statistical models.
- Explore the natural variation of the four target traits by (i) linking the target traits to physiological pathways, genes or genomic regions (ii) assessing the effects of a large allelic diversity for the four target traits via association genetics.
- Support crop improvement strategies by developing methods for estimating the comparative advantages of relevant alleles and traits in fields with contrasting drought scenarios. This will be performed via field experiments and by developing a new generation of crop model able to estimate the effects of alleles on crop growth, yield and water-use efficiency
- Results and methods will be diffused (i) to breeders via the participation of seed companies and a partnership with breeder assocation, (ii) to scientists and students via academic mupblications, and via practical courses and virtual courses in this website.
This project is supported by the European Commission under the