Project: Plant microbiomes in sustainable viticulture

Acronym PROSIT
Duration 03/05/2021 - 02/05/2025
Project Topic Relevance of the project to the specific call: The ongoing process of global warming is causing dramatic changes in environmental conditions worldwide. Predictions show that many regions will become more arid, which will impact on local crop cultivation. In many Mediterranean Countries grapevine is one of the most economically and culturally important crop. As a woody perennial plant, grapevine is particularly sensitive to environmental stresses. Novel and sustainable strategies are urgently needed to maintain grapevine productivity in future climatic conditions. Objective of the project. In the last decade, microbiomes have surged as important players in the physiology of many biological systems. In this project, we aim at exploiting the natural endophytes biodiversity existing in grapevines cultivated in regions of the Mediterranean characterized by arid conditions, to investigate possible application to ameliorate grapevine resilience to drought stress. Methodology. Microbial endophyte consortia conferring the highest resistance to drought stress in traditional grapevine cultivars will be selected under controlled conditions and applied to sanitized grapevine plants, either by grafting or direct inoculation of culturable fraction Plant response will be characterized at physiological and molecular levels by a multidisciplinary approach to determine the mechanisms underlying the modulation of the grapevine response to drought due to microbiomes. Transcriptome, methylome and metabolome analysis will be correlated to the physiological characterization of plants, including optogenetical measurements of the stress hormone Abscisic Acid, Ca2+ homeostasis, photosynthesis, and stomatal conductance. Beneficial microbial associations will be identified by means of metagenomic approaches. By the end of the project, we will be able to offer new technological procedures (double grafting or direct inoculation) to produce commercial material enriched in beneficial endophytes that can be safely used in the field. The project outcome will be the identification of beneficial microbial consortia to be used in environmentally friendly agricultural practices thus increasing the sustainability of the system as a major challenge to face and overcome the problem of increasing water scarcity.
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Network PRIMA
Call Section 2 Call 2020 - Multi-topic

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Padova - Department of Biology Coordinator Italy
2 CNR-IBBR Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources Partner Italy
3 University of Milan - Department of Bioscience Partner Italy
5 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Wissenschaften, represented by the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology Partner Germany
6 Ecophysiologie et Génomique Fonctionnelle de la Vigne Partner France