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Collaborative Projects as Partner

NEWCOTIANA: Breeding Tobacco for Health

The NEWCOTIANA project is a research and innovation initiative that combines several new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) to produce medical and cosmetic products in tobacco plants. Taking advantage of cutting-edge molecular breeding methodologies, researchers will develop new varieties of tobacco and its wild relative Nicotiana benthamiana to produce added-value compounds such as antibodies, vaccines and drugs in a sustainable manner. By applying new NPBTs such as the CRISPR technique to the breeding of tobacco and other related species, the traditional cultivation of tobacco will be revalued, thus providing it with new uses compatible with health. NEWCOTIANA is an excellent testing ground for NPBTs and their applications for sustainable agriculture in the EU. The project will produce reliable data on the utility, robustness, efficiency and safety aspects of a group of four selected NPBTs when applied to the breeding of both conventional and unconventional crop traits. As a result, NEWCOTIANA aims to provide industry, policy-makers and consumers with the experimental evidence and the social communication channels that will facilitate the decision making process for the adoption of NPBTs. The NEWCOTIANA consortium consists of 19 participants and is coordinated by the Joint Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants of Valencia (IBMP-CSIC), Spain. Contact Coordinator: Diego Orzaez. The IPB is a participating institution. Contact at the IPB: Sylvestre Marillonnet. NEWCOTIANA is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (Grant agreement No 760331; duration: 54 months). More information can be found in the consortium's press release and on the project website.

CHIC project: Chicory as a multipurpose crop for dietary fibre and medicinal terpenes

The CHIC project aims to develop chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) varieties that can be used to produce dietary fibre with enhanced prebiotic effects to promote gut health. At the same time, given its biosynthetic capacity, high yields and low agronomic requirements, chicory has significant potential as production host in molecular farming. CHIC aims to harness this potential to cultivate chicory for the extraction of other types of health-related compounds (terpenes) as potential lead molecules for drug development. To achieve this, new chicory varieties must be developed. However, conventional chicory breeding is currently exceptionally time-consuming and thus, chicory is a highly relevant case where new plant breeding technologies can make a real difference. Furthermore, CHIC explores the interactions between technological potential and societal acceptance of modern plant breeding. The consortium will evaluate the technological performance of these new plant breeding technologies, as well as the safety, environmental, regulatory, socio-economic and broader societal issues associated with them. The CHIC consortium consists of 17 participants from 11 European countries and one international participant. This collaborative project is coordinated by Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands (Contact CHIC project coordinator: Dirk Bosch). The IPB is a participating research institute. Contact person at the IPB is Prof. Alain Tissier. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No 760891; duration: 54 months). More information can be found in the consortium's press release and on the project website.

Tri-Sustain - Partnership for sustainable solutions Sub-Saharan Africa & Germany

This interdisciplinary project aims to identify ecologically endangered and therapeutically valuable plants from Sub-Saharan countries and to ensure their sustainable use. Tri-Sustain implements a three‐pronged integrated approach towards the goals of bioeconomic value‐chains, ecological and therapeutic sustainability. The accompanying Graduate School further ensures personnel and partnership sustainability. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) financially support Tri-Sustain. More information can be found on the project website. The project is coordinated by the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Contact person: Prof. Dr. Peter Imming (Institute of Pharmacy). Besides the IPB as a partner institution, the project involves partnering universities from Tanzania, Botsuana and Ethiopia. Contact person at the IPB: Dr. Norbert Arnold.

PhenoMeNal: A comprehensive and standardised e-infrastructure for analysing medical metabolic phenotype data

In the coming decade a significant number of the 500.000.000 European (EU/EEA) citizens will have their genome determined routinely. This will be complemented with much cheaper acquisition of the metabolome of biofluids which will link the genotype with metabolome data that captures the highly dynamic phenome and exposome (i.e. all the external influences on the human organism) of patients. This will enable the development of a truly personalised and evidence-based medicine. The collection of such information will pose dramatic demands on biomedical data management and compute capabilities in Europe. Predications are in the order of exabyte amounts of biomedical phenotyping data. PhenoMeNal will develop and deploy an integrated, secure, permanent, on-demand service-driven, privacy-compliant and sustainable e-infrastructure for the massive amount of data that will be generated by metabolomics applications now entering research and clinic. The project is funded by the European Commission within Horizon 2020 and is carried out by 13 partners from 7 countries. The Coordinator is the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI) in Hinxton, UK. Contact at the IPB: Dr. Steffen Neumann.

Indonesian Plant Biodiversity and Human Health - "Biohealth"

The aim of this project is to initiate the scientific and technological cooperation between Indonesian and German partners and to jointly contribute to the identification of naturally occurring substances in Indonesian plants and fungi with antiinfective effects, potentially suitable for the development of new active pharmaceutical compounds. The project is funded for 3 years by the BMBF. Cooperation partner and coordinator is the University Leipzig. Partner institutions in Indonesia are the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) and the Bogor Agricultural University. Contact IPB: Prof. Wessjohann (Mr.); Contact Leipzig University: Prof. Müllner-Riehl (Ms.).

RADAR – Research Data Repositorium

The aim of the RADAR project is to set up and establish an interdisciplinary infrastructure for long-term preservation and publication of research data. These services should facilitate data management and enhance the reuse of research data, in a discipline-agnostic way. As a scientific project-partner, the IPB actively participates in the development and maintenance of a generic metadata scheme, while using own NMR data to test and verify the functionality of the system during its progress. Together with the IPB, the RADAR project includes the participation of the following partners: the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich, the Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure (FIZ) Karlsruhe, the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB). The project is funded by the DFG. Contacts at the IPB: Dr. Filipe Furtado, Dr. Andrea Porzel, and Prof. Ludger Wessjohann.

COSMOS – COordination of Standards in MetabOlomicS

This EU-funded project is a global effort to enable free and open sharing of metabolomics data coordinated by the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute. The project is named „Developing an efficient e-infrastructure, standards and data-flow for metabolomics and its interface to biomedical and life science e-infrastructures in Europe and world-wide” and has brought together 14 European metabolomics data providers to set and promote community standards. The aim is to establish an e-infrastructure for storing and analyzing metabolomics data and integrating them with other -omics data sets from the life sciences. Contact at the IPB: Dr. Steffen Neumann.


SOLUTIONS – Solutions for present and future emerging pollutants in land and water resources management

SOLUTIONS is a collaborative project funded by the European Commission to develop new and improved tools, models, and methods to support decisions in environmental and water policies. The overall goal of the project is to produce consistent solutions for the large number of chemicals (legacy, present and future emerging) posing a risk to European water bodies with respect to ecosystems and human health. The consortium consists of 39 organizations from 17 different countries and is coordinated by the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ). Contacts at the IPB: Dr. Steffen Neumann and Christoph Ruttkies.

BE LOW – Analysis of root traits to test for environmental filtering and niche complementarity in grassland communities

The project "BE LOW" aims to predict in which local neighbourhood of a regional species community a newcoming plant might perform best. There will be a particular emphasis on traits with a functional link to belowground processes, such as root traits and root exudates. Plant roots secrete a large number of compounds into the rhizosphere. The pattern of these secreted compounds, which can be analysed by mass spectrometry-based methods, is genetically determined but also modulated by environmental factors. The acquired data will be used to test if survival and performance can be predicted from the statistical probability of co-occurrence of a species in a specific local neighbourhood. In summary, the combination of functional biodiversity research, community ecology and functional root research will fill an important gap between above- and belowground processes. The partners in this project are the IPB, the MLU Halle-Wittenberg and the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). Contact at the IPB: Prof. Dierk Scheel.

Calcium-regulated transcription in plant innate immunity

Innate immunity is an ancient form of defense against microbial infection that is based on recognition of small pathogen-specific molecules by special receptors and a subsequent signaling cascade within the plant cells. The aim of the project is to elucidate the Calcium-mediated cellular processes from early perception to the transcription machinery with a focus on the analysis of MAPKs in Calcium-regulated transcription during plant immune response. The results of this research will in the long term contribute to improve the disease resistance of plants. The project is carried out by the Tel Aviv University, Israel (as coordinator), the Freie Universität Berlin and the IPB, and receives funding from the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development. Contact at the IPB: Prof. Dierk Scheel and Dr. Justin Lee.

DFG Graduiertenkolleg 1591 – Post-transcriptional control of gene expression: mechanisms and role in pathogenesis

The GRK 1591 includes twelve different groups from the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry organized in three sections (molecular mechanisms, human diseases and plant physiology and immunity). The aim is to explore how the post-transcriptional control of gene expression determines cell fate and diseases on the basis of animal and plant model organisms. The IPB participates in the GRK 1591 with the project "The role of natural antisense long non-coding RNAs in plants", led by Dr. Selma Gago Zachert from the Molecular Signal Processing Department.

This page was last modified on 26.02.2018.

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