Research project Development of novel technological approaches for a low-cost and reliable characterization of CROP Yield QUALity Traits of target crops grown under Changing Environmental Conditions

In progress CROPYQUALT-CEC
3D growth model

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Main research question

During the breeding of a crop, how can we more quickly and accurately predict the yield and quality of the (large number of different) new crosses? In this project the researchers are developing improved methods (characteristics and protocols) for phenotyping (determining relevant characteristics). They are particularly aiming at models based on data from 'high throughput phenotyping tools' and from laboratory analyses. The models must be able to accurately predict the yield and quality traits. Within EU-RISE a strong international and intersectoral network is being formed around the development and rollout of such new technologies. It is important to achieve a cheap and reliable characterization of 'CROP Yield QUALity Traits' of the target crops, and to be able to take into account changing environmental conditions under which they are cultivated (CEC). The total CropYQualT-CEC project therefore accelerates and promotes the (agricultural) efforts to cope with the rapidly changing climate.

Research approach

In this project we use (close) remote sensing techniques for crop monitoring and high throughput phenotyping under field conditions. Studied crops are wheat, soybean, quinoa, rice and maize. We identify resilient genotypes and molecular markers linked with better yield and nutritional quality traits within a climate change context (water stress, elevated temperature and [CO2]). For quality assessment, we evaluate the use of UAV based phenotyping in the field, together with multispectral and NIRs technologies. Finally we will focus on development of crop grain yield and quality predictive models. All research findings will be disseminated to stakeholders and the wider agri-food sector.

Relevance/Valorization

In Europe, there is a twin focus: raising awareness of the changing crop conditions facing agriculture, and training in regulatory/policy issues at farm(er) level. The RISE exchanges are expected to result in a transfer of important information and techniques into practice. To ensure this transfer, there will be (i) international dissemination of the project and its results, (ii) publicity of the activities carried out under the CropYQualT-CEC Action, (iii) training for personnel working in farming systems to understand global EU regulations and ongoing policy development efforts around changing climate conditions, and (iv) optimization of techniques in farming systems based on the knowledge in Europe to cope with climate change and to increase food production at the same time.