Crag News

Ana I. Caño-Delgado is awarded a PRODUCTE grant to advance knowledge of agriculture adapted to high temperatures

In addition, Juan José López-Moya will participate as a partner in another awarded PRODUCTE grant to develop a natural pesticide against invasive plants pests

CRAG researcher Ana I. Caño-Delgado has recently been awarded with a 100,000€ PRODUCTE grant by AGAUR for the project EARTH 2.0: Enabling Agriculture Resilience when Temperatures are High (2.0), which aims to develop sustainable solutions to obtain drought and heat resistant crops, and is the continuation of a LLAVOR project awarded to her group in 2015. Furthermore, CSIC associate professor at CRAG Juan José López-Moya will contribute his expertise on plant viruses as a partner in a PRODUCTE grant focused on developing a natural pesticide effective against destructive plants pests and produced by plant biofactories, for which he has received a budget of 10,500€. The purpose of these competitive grants is to finance projects aimed at obtaining prototypes, and valuing and transferring the research results generated by researchers in Catalonia.

Global warming imposes severe constraints on agricultural production. Increased temperatures as a result of climate change threaten Earth's healthy and sustainable living standards while also causing significant crop and economic losses. Episodes of extreme drought and heat waves have an enormous impact on productivity, leading to yield losses estimated at 40%. Previous studies carried out by Ana I. Caño-Delgado’s group have shown that vascular brassinosteroid receptors can confer drought and heat wave resistance without penalizing plant growth, and they have been able to translate this initial results obtained in model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to sorghum, an emerging cereal in Europe that is highly resistant to drought. With the new PRODUCTE grant, Caño-Delgado’s group plans to transfer intellectual property into value in the agricultural industry, helping overcome the most damaging impacts of global warming in crops.

In the research field of plant signalling and development, Ana I. Caño-Delgado is a worldwide renowned scientist. She is currently the recipient of an ERC-Consolidator grant to investigate the way brassinosteroid hormones control Arabidopsis plant adaptation to drought and apply these findings to cereal sorghum. She has received numerous international research awards, and is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) since 2016.