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Press release No. 10/2011, 2011-02-04 | zur deutschen Fassung | print version | Search

Productive plants for the future

Kiel University coordinates international network "Crop Life"

The international training network "Crop Life" is starting in Kiel this month, coordinated by Professor Karin Krupinska from the Botanical Institute at Kiel University. "Crop Life" is aiming to make a contribution to increasing crop productivity. The European Union is supporting the training network with € 3.4 million, which will be used to finance 13 young doctoral and post-doctoral candidates who are linked across Europe.

Alongside Kiel University, seven universities and research institutes from Denmark, France, Great Britain, Poland, Switzerland and Germany are participating in "Crop Life". Plant breeding and food companies are also part of the network, meaning the training of the scientists will take into account practical aspects. The facilities involved are meeting in Kiel from February 3 to 5 in order to select eligible candidates and to plan projects. As a way of promoting the international aspect, the young scientists who receive a place in the network will not carry out their research in the countries from which they originate.

The starting point for the "Crop Life" project is the increasing worldwide need for plants as food and energy sources. Crop productivity depends on the life span of the leaves, which can be severely shortened when under stressful conditions. Within the scope of "Crop Life", the young scientists will investigate the connection between life span and productivity of barley and ryegrass, a sweet grass substitute which is relevant for energy production. The results are to be used to derive strategies for increasing the grain filling in cereals / the biomass of grasses. The plant breeding companies participating in "Crop Life" wish to implement the project results directly for breeding new species.

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Caption: Barley in a test field in Hohenschulen, Germany. The new network "Crop Life" aims to increase yields in crops such as barley.
Copyright: CAU, Photo: Karin Krupinska

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Caption: A young scientist collects data in a barley field on the Hohenschulen research farm near Kiel. Young researchers across Europe are working together in the "Crop Life" training network to improve crops.
Copyright: CAU, Photo: Karin Krupinska

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Botanical Institute and Botanical Gardens
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Professor Dr Karin Krupinska
Phone: +49 (0)431 880-4240

Dr Christine Desel
Phone: +49 (0)431 880-4246

Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Press and Communication Services, Sandra Sieraad, Text: Jirka Niklas Menke
Address: D-24098 Kiel, phone: +49 (0431) 880-2104, fax: +49 (0431) 880-1355
Text / Redaktion: Jirka Niklas Menke