WP1 Exchange of know-how and experience by developing strategic partnerships (including twinning) with well-established research teams in the European Union.

Coordinator: Dr. Beta Barnabs

Within the framework of this work package the expansion and development of cooperation with the following institutions is planned:

Task 1.1. Biochemistry and Physiology Department, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
Cooperation between the Cereal Resistance Breeding Department of ARI HAS and the Biochemistry and Physiology Department of Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
Although ARI HAS itself is committed to studying the effects of changing climatic conditions on plants, the great experience and scientific background of the partner institute, with a profile ranging from genetics, biochemistry, cell biology and soil processes to investigations on the ecosystem and landscape scale, will help young Hungarian researchers visiting IACR-Rothamsted to become acquainted with new experimental methods, tools and equipment, and with new research areas not yet investigated in Martonvsr. After returning to their home institute, they will utilize their experience in a wider range of research on the impacts of global climate change using new testing methods to investigate biochemical and physiological parameters.

Task 1.2. Department for Agrobiotechnology, IFA-Tulln, Institute for Biotechnology in Plant Production, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria Cooperation between the Cereal Resistance Breeding Department of ARI HAS and the Department for Agrobiotechnology, IFA-Tulln, Institute for Biotechnology in Plant Production, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
The two institutes have previously cooperated in the field of fusarium resistance. A longer visit by a young scientist could promote the extension of this cooperation to other research fields. The experience gained in Tulln could be used to investigate likely changes in the race composition and virulence of plant pathogens as the result of climate change and could make research in Martonvsr more competitive.

Task 1.3. Institut fr Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung, IPK-Gatersleben,
Germany
Cooperation between the Department of Genetics and Plant Physiology and the Gene Bank Department of the Institut fr Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung, IPK-Gatersleben, Germany
Within the framework of a joint research programme set up in 2002, physiological and molecular genetic research is underway on the tolerance of wheat to heavy metals, drought and frost. Within the framework of the present project, one young scientist from Martonvsr and two young scientists from Germany will go on exchange visits to carry out research on stress biology. Research underway in IPK-Gatersleben on the physiological and molecular genetics of drought tolerance in wheat will help to widen the Martonvsr research profile.

Task. 1.4. Faculty of Agriculture, Babes Bolyai University, Romania

Task. 1.5. Sapientia University, Romania

Task. 1.6. University of Agricultural Sciences, Nitra, Slovakia
The Department of Applied Genomics wishes to strengthen existing links with the leading laboratories, research institutes and universities in the region, including the University of Agricultural Sciences in Nitra, the Sapientia University and the Faculty of Agriculture of Babes Bolyai University in Romania. Young scientists from these research units will be introduced to the research projects underway in Martonvsr for periods of 1–2 months, while young scientists from Martonvsr will make exchange visits, in order to strengthen the development of a regional research network and provide possibilities for joint participation in future FP7 projects.

Task. 1.7. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants, Zaidin Experimental Station, SCIC-Granada, Spain
Cooperation between the Cell Biology Department and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants, Zaidin Experimental Station, SCIC-Granada, Spain.
The two teams have cooperated in research on the effect of environmental stress on in vitro microspore development and plant reproduction for the past ten years. Both partners are involved in work on the in situ hybridisation technique essential for the detection of the genes responsible for the responses of plants to abiotic stress. Both are also interested in learning or adapting immunogold labelling methods for individual cereal species. The continuing exchange of experienced scientists is necessary to ensure methodological progress.
The Spanish partner’s experience in the ultrastructural analysis of reproductive processes could lead to the use of new electron microscope techniques in the Martonvsr institute for studying the effects of climatic variability on living tissues.

Task. 1.8. Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Milan, Italy
Cooperation between the Maize Breeding Department and the Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Milan, Italy
The breeding of maize hybrids tolerant of abiotic and biotic stress factors requires testing for tolerance of drought and of the negative effects of increased UV-B radiation. The effect of climate change is studied in both Hungary and Chile to investigate the behaviour of the genotypes in two diverse environments with differing ecological conditions in the same year. The Italian partner is also involved in research on the genetic architecture underlying plant tolerance to water stress and its regulation and on the development of molecular tools for improving the efficiency of selection for drought tolerance in maize. Previous cooperation in the field of reproduction biology will be expanded to provide young scientists with a wider range of molecular techniques for application in stress resistance breeding.

Task. 1.9. Agriculture and the Environment Division, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
Cooperation between the Maize Breeding Department and the Environment Division, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
Soil organic C content, which not only affects soil quality but also has a significant role in the global carbon cycle, with consequences for climate change, is influenced by cropping and management practices. The supply of nutrients to plants in appropriate quantities and at the correct times is essential for economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture. A wide range of approaches are used in Rothamsted to study soil C dynamics. The Nutrient Dynamics Programme focuses on the processes controlling nutrient flows.
Novel methods have been developed to investigate the role of microbial biomass and to give a better understanding of how it is affected by anthropogenic activities. The exchange of young scientists to learn new techniques could be useful for ARI HAS.

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