Researchers receive major grant to discover how plants sense water stress
Prof. Eilon Shani, from Tel Aviv University and a team of European scientists from the UK, Norway, and Germany have received the highly prestigious European Research Council Synergy award to reveal how roots and shoots sense water stress
An international team of scientists has been awarded €10M to explore how plants sense water stress, generating new knowledge that will underpin efforts to engineer more climate-resilient crops.
Water stress is a major problem for global agriculture, given the impact of climate change. Europe has experienced serious droughts during 2022 and 2023. Despite its devastating environmental, economic, and societal effects, how plants sense water stress remains unknown.
Professor Malcolm Bennett from the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham will lead the UK team explains, ‘The capabilities and expertise to discover exactly how plants sense water stress is beyond any individual researcher or team, demanding instead a partnership between several world-leading groups.
Professor Eilon Shani from the School of Plant Sciences and Food Security at Tel Aviv University flagged, “The team will use state-of-the-art next-generation plant genetics, developed in Tel Aviv, to overcome functional redundancy and reveal the hidden genetic components.”
The discoveries promise to unlock how plants sense the most important molecule on the planet, WATER. This new knowledge will underpin efforts to design drought-resilient crops and underpin future global food security.