Opendata, web and dolomites


Eco-physiological tradeoffs with crop domestication: have farming ants cracked the code?

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ELEVATE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ELEVATE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ELEVATE" about.

substrates    cultivars    gradients    stress    ants    locally    harvesting    environments    visualize    texas    crop    shape    traits    harvest    fascinating    seamless    resiliency    levels    ecological    colonies    experiments    symbiotic    continents    plant    mapping    global    domestication    protein    resemble    rapid    contours    compost    answer    pathogens    cultivar    ancestors    genes    maps    lower    fungal    cutting    argentina    integration    transformative    adaptive    atta    edge    climates    extreme    human    biological    wild    na    physiological    mechanisms    domesticated    nutritional    managed    navigate    temperature    populations    interacting    entire    societies    toxins    laboratory    farmers    spanning    questions    crops    performance    hardly    paradigm    millions    niche    evolutionary    moisture    assemblages    yield    ways    farming    nutrient    poorly    rainfall    fluctuating    tradeoffs    workers    co    massive    physiology    carbohydrates    multidimensional    biochemical    genus    regional    landscapes    thriving    artificially    leafcutter    grow    trade    vitro    environmental    vegetation    diverse    agricultural    imperiled    optimized    governing    organization    million    fresh    feed    parallels    nutrition    eco   

Project "ELEVATE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: NORREGADE 10
postcode: 1165

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 Denmark [DK]
 Total cost 1˙427˙741 €
 EC max contribution 1˙427˙741 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-02-01   to  2023-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET DK (KOBENHAVN) coordinator 1˙427˙741.00


 Project objective

Domesticated crops hardly resemble their wild ancestors, and often trade higher yield in artificially optimized conditions for lower performance in fluctuating environments. Leafcutter ants (genus Atta) provide fascinating parallels with human farmers, harvesting fresh vegetation used as compost to produce domesticated fungal crops that feed massive societies with millions of workers. However, while human agricultural systems are imperiled by rapid global changes, leafcutter ants have managed to grow one type of cultivar from Texas to Argentina, thriving across extreme rainfall and temperature gradients and across diverse climates over millions of years. However, the eco-physiological mechanisms governing this farming resiliency are poorly understood.

I propose a new in vitro mapping paradigm to visualize the niche requirements of fungal cultivars. Creating multidimensional landscapes of nutrient availability (e.g. protein, carbohydrates, Na, P) and environmental stress (e.g. temperature, moisture, plant toxins, crop pathogens) I will answer three main questions:

1) What genes and biochemical pathways shape cultivar performance across interacting gradients of nutrition and stress?

2) Do colonies harvest substrates to navigate nutritional contours of cultivar performance maps and avoid production tradeoffs?

3) Do locally adaptive cultivar traits shape the performance of farming societies across regional ecological gradients, and over 60 million years of co-evolutionary crop domestication by farming ants?

My cutting-edge approach will deliver transformative advances to the field of eco-physiology, enabling seamless integration between field and laboratory experiments, and providing new ways to visualize evolutionary mechanisms across levels of biological organization from genes to symbiotic partnerships, and from within diverse farming assemblages to across populations spanning entire continents.

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The information about "ELEVATE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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