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Work Packages (WP)

Scientific and technological objectives of the research

In the five research work packages, the following S&T objectives of the network’s research programme will be addressed:

  • to identify the signal compounds involved in initiation of chloroplast degradation and to develop novel methodology enabling early detection of senescence
  • to identify the key proteins of transcriptional control of lifespan
  • to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying chloroplast protein degradation and nitrogen remobilisation with special attention to the role of autophagy
  • to analyse and exploit the genetic variability in barley and ryegrass accessions provided by partners of the network
  • to use the developed knowledge and techniques for evaluation and selection of existing and new germplasm and finally breeding of new varieties with prolonged duration of the photosynthetic lifespan

Figure 1. Work packages WP1-5 (RTD activities) are based on the multidisciplinary and intersectoral training programme of “CropLife” and are complemented by WP6. Exchange of knowledge and material is depicted by horizontal bars. ESR and ER are assigned to WP1-4 and partly to WP5. Secondments of ESR are presented in the Gantt Chart.

Description of Work Packages

WP1
The main objective is to determine the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in senescence and to identify changes in the redox state that may represent early senescence signals. The overall objective of this work package also includes development of novel non-invasive methods for monitoring senescence processes in the field.

WP2
The overall objective is to establish the roles of senescence-associated transcription factors and histone modifications at the promoters of transcriptional master regulators in the control of lifespan for crop plants.

WP3
To elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying chloroplast protein degradation and nitrogen remobilisation with special attention to the role of autophagy.

WP4
Discovery and exploitation of genes involved in prolonging lifespan, and increasing productivity and efficiency in European barley and biofuel/forage ryegrass breeding programmes.

WP5
An evaluation and definition of the main interests and targets of the private project partners in the research fields of “CropLife” done by ESR4, ESR8, ESR10 and ESR11 will support a targeted transfer of research results to the private area. Protocols and results of new methods and tools helpful to improve and support existing processes will be transferred in the most efficient way to practical implementations. Superior germplasm will enter existing breeding programmes in the shortest time. To promote exchange of knowledge an internal electronic newsletter will be compiled by WP6 every six months. Based on this internal newsletter information for public dissemination by the website of the consortium organized in connection with the SenNet webpage (http://www.sidthomas.net/Plant_senescence/sennet.htm) will be selected.

WP6
The objective of this work package is to ensure a smooth implementation of the project in accordance with the Grant Agreement and with its annexes.