InnoVar, Next-generation variety testing for improved cropping on European farmland, is a Horizon 2020 ‘Research and Innovation Action’ project addressing the topic SFS-29-2018 ‘Innovations in plant variety testing’.
Feeding an increasing global population in the face of global climate change is a challenge for the agricultural sector and governments alike.
Developing new varieties with more desirable characteristics is critical, but so are their regulation. InnoVar aims to augment and improve the efficacy and accuracy of European crop variety testing and decision-making, using an integrated approach incorporating genomics, phenomics, and machine learning. Historic data will form the foundation of the InnoVar database which will be expanded with new and harmonised data generated from a trial series across Europe.
Using wheat as a test crop, InnoVar will devise and demonstrate improved, efficient methods of:
InnoVar is a 4,5 years project under the Horizon 2020 SFS-29-2018 call.
The project’s consortium includes 21 partners across Europe. Variety trials testing Triticum durum and Triticim aestivum will take place in 15 locations, organized into five agro-climatic zones based on climate and location.
Data from these trials will be used to create new variety recommendation tools. InnoVar will also develop a road map for the implementation of these new and improved approaches to other important crops, including perennial ryegrass and maize., which will revolutionise the variety testing community.
The INNOVAR Ambition
InnoVar will develop next generation plant variety testing by building tools and models that augment current practices capitalising on advances in genomics, phenomics, imaging technologies and machine learning. This project will unite will multiple industries, government bodies and stakeholders to make a significant contribution to feeding an increasing global population in the face of global climate change.
The outcome of InnoVar will be new crop varieties with more desirable characteristics in a changing environment with modern testing and regulation systems that will protect plant breeders, consumers and farmers.
The InnoVar database, populated with historical and de novo genotypic, phenotypic and environmental data will facilitate model development and evaluation for revision of DUS and VCU processes. Innovative ways to measure DUS characters will be evaluated. VCU testing procedures will be revised and shaped to comprehensively address variability in growing conditions, stresses and management approaches.
Processes for identifying optimally-adapted varieties and delivering information to farmers, end-users and stakeholders will be put in place.
InnoVar will focus on wheat initially, and apply the InnoVar approach to other major crops.
Developments and advances achieved will also influence breeding processes.
This project will take variety information to the next level in four ways:
Cutting-edge science will be integrated with tried and tested DUS and VCU processes to deliver an invigorated EU variety evaluation system capable of delivering increasingly productive and more sustainable cropping to meet the challenges arising from population growth, food security and climate change.
TYPE OF ACTION
Università degli Studi della Tuscia
DEPARTMENT OF UNIVERSITY
DAFNE-department of agricultural and forestry sciences