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IBE Scientists participate in a new EU-COST Action

IBE Scientists participate in a new EU-COST Action

Prof Xavier Bellés and Dr Dolors Piulachs participate in iPlanta, a new project that seeks to collate and disseminate available information on plant RNAi and on RNAi systems in pests and pathogens of crop plants. The Network will involve researchers from  more than 30 countries.

14.03.2016

 

Methods to exploit plant defence mechanisms or changing plant metabolism by RNA silencing show great potential. For example, interfering RNA can be used to improve plant composition while enhancing levels of beneficial nutrients, and to improve plant productivity by suppressing undesirable traits and switching resources to more beneficial quality and yield traits. Likewise, gene expression in pathogens and pests can be targeted and plants modified to produce dsRNAs which trigger silencing and affect essential physiological functions in pest or disease-causing organisms.

http://biologiaevolutiva.org/mdpiulachs/images/Dolors2.jpgThe new EU-COST Action iPlanta will define and coordinate the most important research efforts for the development of these novel transgenic strategies across many EU and nearby countries with inputs from cooperating researchers in associated countries in North and South America, and Australasia. Members include scientists, social scientists, plant breeders, regulators, SMEs and others. Prof Xavier Bellés, director of the IBE (CSIC-UPF), and Dr Dolors Piulachs, are among them.

The Action will promote scientific exchange and communication on the science, development, exploitation and biosafety of the wide range of RNAi systems being researched and developed worldwide. The added value of the networking on all these topics will be the increased synergy created between scientists, which will stimulate exchanges of knowledge, ideas and methods, and therefore enhance their productivity and optimize the use of resources and maximize research output and impact.

In the longer term this technology is expected to have impacts on crop production and quality, food security and food safety, as well as on integrated and sustainable agricultural and biomaterials production systems.

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