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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.

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

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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