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Sensing soil processes for improved crop nitrogen bioavailability

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SENSOILS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: DUNDEE
postcode: DD2 5DA

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙978˙475 €
 EC max contribution 1˙978˙475 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE JAMES HUTTON INSTITUTE UK (DUNDEE) coordinator 1˙487˙823.00
3    UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE UK (DUNDEE) participant 228˙777.00


 Project objective

Food production is predicated on the application of nitrogen fertilisers, which can contribute significantly to the production of greenhouse gasses and eutrophication of agroecosystems. The use of nitrogen fertilisers must, therefore, be optimised.

The recent development of transparent soils in my group gives great scope to unravel the processes involved in the reactive transport of nutrients in soil and their interaction with the soil biota. My team will combine principles of optics, chemical engineering, the physics, chemistry, and biology of soils, and plant biology to image and characterise nitrogen movement in soil at the micro-scale. We will develop a new generation of transparent soil analogues that measure the biological and chemical status of soils. This will enable, for the first time, to characterise transport at the surface of soil particles and to elucidate the role of root–particle–particle contacts, exudation and microbial transformation on the bioavailability of nitrate and ammonium.

The legacy of the research will be knowledge, concepts, model soil systems and imaging approaches to understand and predict nutrient bioavailability in soil with an emphasis on nitrification as a model for nitrogen movement in soil. Transparent soils and imaging technologies will be patented and could pave the way for 3D chemical sensors, and have application in crop breeding and precision phenotyping. Understanding of nutrient movements in soil will lead to substantial progress in the development of more efficient fertilisers. New model soil systems could be used to better understand the spread of soil-borne diseases, the bio-remediation of contaminated soils and the mechanisms underlying soil biodiversity and activity.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Adalvan Martins, Felicity O’Callaghan, A Glyn Bengough, Kenneth W Loades, Moacir Pasqual, Evelyne Kolb, Lionel X. Dupuy
The helical motions of roots are linked to avoidance of particle forces in soil
published pages: , ISSN: 0028-646X, DOI: 10.1111/nph.16312
New Phytologist 2020-04-06
2019 Matthias Mimault, Mariya Ptashnyk, George W. Bassel, Lionel X. Dupuy
Smoothed particle hydrodynamics for root growth mechanics
published pages: 20-30, ISSN: 0955-7997, DOI: 10.1016/j.enganabound.2019.03.025
Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements 105 2020-04-06
2018 LX Dupuy, M Mimault, D Patko, V Ladmiral, B Ameduri, MP MacDonald, M Ptashnyk
Micromechanics of root development in soil
published pages: 18-25, ISSN: 0959-437X, DOI: 10.1016/j.gde.2018.03.007
Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 51 2020-04-06
2018 Qizhi Yang, Marc Guerre, Vincent Ladmiral, Bruno Ameduri
Thermal and photo-RAFT polymerization of 2,2,2-trifluoroethyl α-fluoroacrylate
published pages: 3388-3397, ISSN: 1759-9954, DOI: 10.1039/C8PY00571K
Polymer Chemistry 9/24 2020-04-06
2016 Lionel X. Dupuy, Wendy K. Silk
Mechanisms of Early Microbial Establishment on Growing Root Surfaces
published pages: , ISSN: 1539-1663, DOI: 10.2136/vzj2015.06.0094
Vadose Zone Journal 15/2 2020-04-06
2017 Sanjib Banerjee, Bhausaheb V. Tawade, Vincent Ladmiral, Lionel X. Dupuy, Michael P. MacDonald, Bruno Améduri
Poly(fluoroacrylate)s with tunable surface hydrophobicity via radical copolymerization of 2,2,2-trifluoroethyl α-fluoroacrylate and 2-(trifluoromethyl)acrylic acid
published pages: 1978-1988, ISSN: 1759-9954, DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00209B
Polym. Chem. 8/12 2020-04-06

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