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Plant metallothioneins as potential players in food security

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PMTFOS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Kirby Corner Road - University House
postcode: CV4 8UW

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 195˙454 €
 EC max contribution 195˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-08-01   to  2019-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK UK (COVENTRY) coordinator 195˙454.00


 Project objective

Food security is a socioeconomical concept that involves access to food that meets people's dietary needs and preferences. Current and future food security is threatened by more frequent and more widespread drought events, leading to reduction in crop yields. A related issue of global importance is micronutrient deficiency. Zinc, a micronutrient involved in all major physiological processes, has outstanding potential to improve crop yields, as well as animal and human health. One long-term and cost-effective approach to overcome zinc deficiency in humans involves biofortification - increasing micronutrients in staple crops. In this context, the molecular processes underlying (a) drought resistance, and (b) micronutrients accumulation in edible parts of crop plants need to be elucidated. One protein family – the plant metallothioneins (MTs) – shows tremendous promise in enhancing drought tolerance, zinc accumulation, and bioavailability. This project aims to analyse the complement of MTs from sorghum, a cereal plant with unusual drought- and heat-resistance that is a staple crop for 500 Million people. Sorghum is predicted to become more prevalent in future European diets. In this project, the questions whether and which MT may be involved in (a) zinc accumulation in grains, (b) discrimination between essential zinc and toxic cadmium, and (c) drought stress tolerance, will be addressed. A unique cross-disciplinary approach spanning in-planta analysis to protein biophysics will furnish unprecedented insight into crucial aspects of plant zinc homeostasis and drought tolerance. Outcomes will impact European scientific excellence by empowering a female scientist from Central Europe, and by inspiring further work in plant science. Future translation of the fundamental insights generated will Iead to applications in agriculture (e.g. novel biofortification strategies for cereals), and enhance the European public’s awareness of the importance of zinc for human health.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Agnieszka Mierek-Adamska, Grażyna B. Dąbrowska, Claudia A. Blindauer
The type 4 metallothionein from Brassica napus seeds folds in a metal-dependent fashion and favours zinc over other metals
published pages: 1430-1443, ISSN: 1756-5901, DOI: 10.1039/c8mt00161h
Metallomics 10/10 2019-10-01

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