NordPlant annual report for 2018 submitted

On March 30, 2019, NordPlant submitted the first annual progress report to NordForsk. This is an abbreviated version of the report. The full version can be found here.

During the first half of 2018,  NordPlant received the first funding, formed a steering committee, assigned Erik Alexandersson as coordinator and finalized the Agreement of Cooperation between SLU and the other participating universities, which was signed by all parties on the 5th of June 2018. During the late spring and autumn NordPlant was promoted more widely and in June the NordPlant webpage was launched.

NordPlant held its kick-off meeting on 24-25 October in Helsinki. During the kick-off meeting we also established four focus groups. These groups are open to anyone in the Nordic countries and they have set up the following objectives

  1. Phenotyping methods in field, greenhouse, and cell physiology (coordinated by UHEL).
  2. Data handling and integration related to phenotyping and modeling by integrated climate and phenomics data (coordinated by UCPH/LU).
  3. Emerging and increasing plant pathogens and pests in the Nordic countries (coordinated by SLU).
  4. Abiotic stress relevant for future climate change in the Nordic countries (coordinated by UiT).

The fifth focus group is planned to be a group on the demands of breeders and precision farmers that will focus on the practical demands of the food and feed industry and spur new public-private partnerships. The formation of this group has been postponed, but is planned for late 2019.

During 2018, NordPlant members published four scientific articles, and presented NordPlant at eight scientific meetings. Two post-docs and one PhD-students were recruited. A number of new research programs and collaborations were initiated, including:

  • A collaboration between SLU and KU-PLEN on phenotyping of potatoes in the PhenoLab to estimate possible fitness costs of plant defense.
  • A new project between SLU and UiT around potato plasticity by comparing metabolomics and proteomics data, quality and yield between different Nordic growth places.
  • A Brassica rapa dwarf breeding project between Kristiina Himanen (UHEL), Mirko Pavicic (UHEL) and Tarja Niemelä (UHEL)
  • A collaboration between LU and SLU on remote sensing of potato disease and drought stress.

In addition, a large number of scientists received grants for travelling abroad for courses and projects. In summary, The NordPlant Nordic University Hub has brought very exciting new possibilities for scientific collaboration.

Publications from NordPlant projects during 2018

Alexandersson, E., M. Keinanen, A. Chawade, and K. Himanen. 2018. ‘Nordic research infrastructures for plant phenotyping’, Agricultural and Food Science, 27: 7-16.

Chawade, A., R. Armoniene, G. Berg, G. Brazauskas, G. Frostgard, M. Geleta, A. Gorash, T. Henriksson, K. Himanen, A. Ingver, E. Johansson, L. N. Jorgensen, M. Koppel, R. Koppel, P. Makela, R. Ortiz, W. Podyma, T. Roitsch, A. Ronis, J. T. Svensson, P. Vallenback, and M. Weih. 2018. ‘A transnational and holistic breeding approach is needed for sustainable wheat production in the Baltic Sea region’, Physiologia Plantarum, 164: 442-51.

Koc, A., T. Henriksson, and A. Chawade. 2018. ‘Specalyzer-an interactive online tool to analyze spectral reflectance measurements’, Peerj, 6.

Roitsch, Thomas, Llorenç Cabrera-Bosquet, Antoine Fournier, Kioumars Ghamkhar, José Jiménez-Berni, Francisco Pinto, and Eric S. Ober. 2019. ‘Review: New sensors and data-driven approaches—A path to next generation phenomics’, Plant Science

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