MURREC aims at simultaneously improving the utilization of both water and nutrients, with a focus on nitrogen, to enhance yield, stability and quality of highly important crops in the EU under different pedo-climatic conditions across Europe within climate change scenarios for climate-smart breeding. Approaches with winter and spring wheat will be complemented with the typically irrigated species tomato and potato to identify optimal combinations of physiological processes, phenotypical traits, and management practices for stress resilience within conventional and organic farming. An interdisciplinary, multistakeholder approach will be implemented to ensure that out-comes and deliverables are targeted to the end-users and implemented in the agro business. Water and nitrogen use efficiencies (WUE and NUE) will be improved by exploiting interactions among genetics (G), management (M), and environment (E) with novel phenotyping techniques. It is performed under consideration of beneficial microbiomes and used at controlled and field conditions to select genotypes with improved root efficiency for water and N acquisition and shoot traits with enhanced WUE and NUE in multistress conditions.
This will be complemented by novel management strategies, including irrigation/fertilizer management interventions, to further counteract the yield losses by tailored technical solutions for crop-specific precision farming. Modelling tools will be used to quantify the interaction between the phenotypical expression of genotypes, combination of the abiotic stress factors, drought and nitrogen limitation, as well as management practices and the basic understanding of regulatory connections between the traits WUE and NUE. End-user friendly, easy-to-use decision support systems will be developed tailored for the needs of breeders, agronomists and farmers. They will be made available together with technological solutions such as advanced microbial formulations and sensor technologies.