The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)

Plant-XR – A new generation of intelligent breeding tools for extra resilient crops

NWO Long-Term Programme for Utrecht University, Wageningen University and Research, University of Amsterdam and Delft University of Technology

The Plant-XR consortium wants to collaborate on research into extra resilient crops with 16 partners so far, including 4 knowledge institutions, 9 companies and 3 public institutions. Sustainable agriculture is fundamental to our future on this planet. An important cornerstone is the use of resilient crops that are able to maintain their productivity even when faced with adverse and fluctuating environmental conditions or plant diseases

The world must meet a growing demand for affordable food while also adapting to climate change and reducing the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and natural resources. Instead of plants that perform well under only perfect and tightly managed conditions, we need robust crop varieties that can withstand extreme and unpredictable stresses such as droughts, floods, and diseases.
Current plant breeding techniques cannot effectively select such complex characteristics. We need a new generation of smart, targeted breeding tools, built on new data, new insights, and artificial intelligence, to rapidly create many extra-resilient crops.
Plant-XR aims to generate and implement those tools.
For more information please have a look here.