Project: Optimal use of natural products and biological initiators to improve the resilience of agrosystems to climate change

Duration 01/06/2021 - 01/06/2024
Project Topic In the Mediterranean area, climate change affects agricultural productivity primarily by reducing water availability and altering environmental variables from optimal values thus favouring the incidence of plant pests and diseases. In this scenario, the OPTIMUS PRIME consortium aims at increasing tolerance of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. Mill), an important horticultural crop, to multiple stresses including abiotic factors (water limitation and high temperatures) and biotic stressors (Tuta absoluta attack and Tetranychus evansi infestation) through a cost-effective seed priming strategy. This strategy, based on a combination of natural compounds and beneficial microorganisms such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) or plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), has proved to be efficient in enhancing plant defences against numerous threats. OPTIMUS PRIME will test, validate and implement a seed priming strategy based on combinations of natural products and microorganisms chosen for their efficacy in improving tolerance of tomato to a combination of abiotic and biotic stress factors under realistic farming conditions, ensuring resilience of crops without affecting subsequent developmental and productive traits including fruit yield and quality. The underlying physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms will be investigated to provide a solid basis of the efficiency of the priming treatment. Moreover, a cost-efficient industrial process to produce tomato seeds coated with a biodegradable polymer encapsulating the priming agents will be assayed and a study to investigate the market potential of the developed technology conducted. Finally, to assess the contribution of the developed technology on expected impacts of the PRIMA topic, the ability of the developed technology to favour the transition from conventional to organic agriculture, improve farmers' income and welfare and, at the same time, have a societal impact in terms of providing safe and healthy food and job stability will be evaluated.
Website visit project website
Network PRIMA
Call Section 2 Call 2020 - Multi-topic

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Universitat Jaume I Coordinator Spain
2 Cyprus University of Technology Partner Cyprus
3 Novacert Partner Greece
4 Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Partner Italy
5 Agenzia Lucana di Sviluppo e di Innovazione in Agricoltura Partner Italy
6 La Semiorto Sementi s.r.l. Partner Italy
7 Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture de Meknès Partner Morocco
8 Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de Mohamedia Partner Morocco
9 Ege University Partner Türkiye