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Local Edaphic Adaptation in Plants through Leveraging an Extremophile Model

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 LEAP-EXTREME project word cloud

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

recording    soil    implementing    enabled    never    halleri    resequencing    data    adaptations    surface    local    few    ranges    manner    complemented    minerals    species    plasticity    evolution    fundamental    soils    undergone    divergent    restoration    linkage    pioneering    homeostasis    heavy    placed    context    lithosphere    taxa    changeable    implicated    variants    function    unusually    mediators    mosaic    wild    crop    plants    collection    edaphic    rates    earth    environmental    nutrient    toxic    zinc    metals    critical    arise    insights    trait    answer    phenotyping    compositions    cadmium    composition    discontinuous    ordinary    lack    questions    associations    comparatively    harbouring    conduct    contaminated    enhanced    multiple    traits    effect    evolve    biologically    arabidopsis    mutation    repeated    natural    continuous    ecologically    transcriptomics    crosses    genetic    breeding    intermittently    biotechnology    leaves    advantage    causal    uniquely    hyperaccumulation    phenotypic    inorganic    architecture    mapping    network    genome    extremophile    metal    relation    genotype    ecosystems    hypertolerance    gene    attenuated    capitalizing   

Project "LEAP-EXTREME" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BOCHUM
postcode: 44801

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 Germany [DE]
 Total cost 2˙498˙675 €
 EC max contribution 2˙498˙675 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-10-01   to  2023-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    RUHR-UNIVERSITAET BOCHUM DE (BOCHUM) coordinator 2˙498˙675.00


 Project objective

The discontinuous mosaic of soil compositions on the Earth’s changeable surface intermittently requires the adaptation of plants as crucial mediators for ecosystems with the inorganic lithosphere harbouring all nutrient, but also toxic minerals. Only few gene variants have been implicated in local soil adaptation. There is a general lack of information about their relation with soil composition in the field, the manner in which such adaptations function and evolve, and why they arise in some taxa but never in others. To answer these questions, we will take advantage of the repeated evolution and the unusually large phenotypic ranges for multiple edaphic traits in Arabidopsis halleri. This species has undergone uniquely divergent natural selection for increased hyperaccumulation in leaves of the toxic metals zinc and cadmium as well as metal hypertolerance on ordinary soils, and for enhanced hypertolerance involving attenuated metal hyperaccumulation on heavy metal-contaminated soils. Capitalizing on the most comprehensive collection ever established of a wild extremophile, and with a pioneering approach recording critical field data for each genotype, we will conduct large-scale genome resequencing and identify multi-trait multi-gene associations, complemented by genetic linkage mapping based on crosses. Local edaphic adaptation causal variants will be placed into the context of metal homeostasis network architecture and plasticity using transcriptomics, and we will comparatively evaluate mutation rates in A. halleri under ecologically relevant edaphic conditions. Implementing state-of-the-art genome-enabled and novel phenotyping methodologies in this wild and biologically complex species will require continuous pioneering developments. Our work will deliver novel fundamental insights into local adaptation in plants and identify large-effect gene variants with potential for applications in environmental restoration, biotechnology and crop breeding.

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