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"Improving nutrient efficiency in major European food, feed and biofuel crops to reduce the negative environmental impact of crop production" (NUE-CROPS)
Start date: 01 May 2009, End date: 30 Apr 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The MAIN AIM of the proposed integrating project NUE-CROPS is to develop knowledge, models and tools required to (a) breed/select NUTRIENT USE EFFICIENT (NUE) CROPS and (b) integrate NUE-crops with AGRONOMIC INNOVATIONS to significantly reduce fertiliser use and associated negative environmental impacts of crop production, while maintaining or improving crop yield and quality. The consortium includes 10 academic centres of excellence and 3 large breeding companies in 6 EU member states, China (an ICPC region) and the USA. The strategic CONCEPTS/OBJECTIVES of NUE-CROPS are to support the: 1. DEVELOPMENT OF NUE-VARIETIES of 4 MAJOR EUROPEAN CROPS (wheat, oilseed rape, potato, maize) for different MACROCLIMATIC REGIONS. This will be based on (a) classical QTL identification methods, (b) association genetics approaches, (c) gene expression profiling (and where appropriate proteomic, metabolomic analyses and/or analytical transformation analyses) and (d) whole plant physiological studies. R&D activities will focus on the 4 major crops species, but deliverables from studies with model plants/crops (Arabidopsis, Brassica rapa, barley) will be used as “genetic bridges” for the genetically complex crops wheat and oilseed rape. 2. INTEGRATION of NUE-CROPS with INNOVATIVE MANAGEMENT approaches (e.g. improved fertilisation regimes, rotational designs, winter cover crop use and, tillage systems). This will be based on: (a) field experiments to evaluate the impact of NUE crops under contrasting agronomic scenarios and (b) the construction/validation of models/algorithms for nutrient budgeting/precision farming systems 3. To ESTABLISH an EFFICIENT TRAINING and DISSEMINATION programme aimed at rapid exploitation and application of project deliverables in commercial crop production."
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