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Enhanced plant productivity through control of lifespan (CROPLIFE)
Start date: Dec 1, 2010, End date: Jun 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The world-wide demand for primary plant products to be used for food, feed and fuel is increasing dramatically. The foreseen climate changes are expected to have a negative impact on plant productivity in addition. Future agriculture urgently needs new crop plant varieties with enhanced and sustainable productivity. To meet this challenge, “CropLife” focuses on leaf lifespan as a major determinant of plant productivity and aims to develop new breeding strategies for prolonging leaf photosynthesis and delaying senescence processes. The network focuses on barley and perennial ryegrass, which are excellent models for research and crop development in Europe. The “CropLife” primary objectives will be addressed in the four workpackages. These are: the identification of key factors initiating senescence (1), and proteins regulating leaf lifespan (2), the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of senescence-associated protein degradation and nitrogen remobilization (3), and the analysis of lifespan and exploitation of genetic variation in lifespan in order to breed new varieties with increased productivity (4). “CropLife” provides intersectorial experience by integrating partners from the public and private sectors. The training programme includes state-of–the-art local training activities and network-wide courses, summer schools and workshops. Young researchers will be trained in a range of cutting edge research skills, as well as in complementary skills that will enhance their career prospects. Further benefits will arise from secondments in partner laboratories and intersectorial visits to associated partners from the private sector. To guarantee training at the most advanced level, outstanding scientists in the field will be integrated as visiting researchers. Workshops and a final network conference will provide a platform for dissemination of the network’s achievements which are expected to increase the competitiveness of European plant research and agriculture.
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