390 million hectares (circa 80% of the total land area) in Europe is currently laid to waste by acid soil toxicity. Now EUREKA project CEREALSTRESSOL is developing new varieties of crops that can cope with adverse due to natural stresses such as drought and due to abiotic, non-living stresses such as acid soil toxicity.
Acid soil toxicity is caused by the leaching of aluminum, manganese and other toxins into the soil through acid rain, acid forming fertilizers as well as the decay of organic matter caused by the drive to gain higher and higher yield from the soil.
EUREKA project CEREALSTRESSTOL brought together researchers from Hungary, Poland, Greece and Turkey. Dr Lajos Bona, Senior Researcher at GKI (Cereal Research Non-Profit Company), Hungary explains how the partners met each other for the first time.
“EUREKA held a brokerage event in Poland in 1994, which provided a forum for various interested parties to discuss potential projects," says Bona. "We discovered that we were all working independently towards abiotic stress tolerant cereals, so it made perfect sense to work together.”
Nicola Vatthauer | alfa
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