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FUNCT.3 Root-Shoot-Interactions

Programme Area FUNCT
FUNCT Functional Plant Biology
FUNCT.1 Temperature sensing in plants
FUNCT.2 Plant metabolism
FUNCT.3 Root-Shoot-Interactions
Programme Area MICRO
MICRO Plant-Microbe Systems
Programme Area MICRO
BIOINF Genomics and bioinformatics in horticulture
Programme Area QUALITY
QUALITY Plant Quality and Food Security
Programme Area HORTSYS
HORTSYS Next-Generation Horticultural Systems

Head of RG FUNCT.3: Dr Dietmar Schwarz

Much of the commercial production of vegetables increasingly relies on grafting with rootstocks to provide resistance to soil-borne diseases and abiotic stresses as well as to influence scion growth and performance.

Cooperation Partners

Guiseppe Colla
University of Tuscia
Youssef Rouphael
University of Naples Federico II
Dimitrios Savvas and Goergia Ntatsi
Agricultural University Athens
Andrew J. Thompson
Cranfield University
Hakan Aktas
Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta
Roni Cohen
Newe Ya’ar Reserach Center, ARO
Thibault Nordey
World Vegetable Center, Eastern and Southern Africa

However, grafting can also have negative repercussions on the plant, particularly related to quality characteristics of the harvestable product. So far, the control mechanisms of metabolism, growth and developmental processes underlying rootstock adaption to different soil environments and rootstock-conferred modifications of scion phenotypes are not well enough understood to leverage its full potential for a more sustainable horticulture.

Therefore, our work focuses on the discovery of mechanisms underlying the tolerance to different stresses, in particular low temperature. Second, we seek to understand the mechanisms of how grafting affects the quality characteristics of the harvested fruit. This will on the one hand enable a more informed selection of root stock/scion combinations in order to minimize the negative effects of grafting on quality. On the other hand, we hope that understanding the adaptive responses of grafted plants to low temperature will expand the palette of plant species where this technology can be applied to mitigate low temperature stress. We mainly use tomato (Solanum spp.) as an important horticultural crop and as a model plant since genome information for domesticated and wild tomato species is accessible and a large array of induced and natural genetic variation is available.

Current Project

2019 - 2022

Adapting Mediterranean vegetable crops to climate change-induced multiple stress (VEG-ADAPT)

The OVERALL GOAL of VEG-ADAPT is to contribute to adaptation of vegetable crops to single...

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Other Projects

Impact of tomato grafting on the tolerance to abiotic stresses, i.e. drought, low soil fertility and high temperature


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