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Murcia (MC +WGs)

  1. rottopower  cost



12-14 November 2013 MURCIA (SPAIN)


Scientific Programme

Book of Abstracts





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On behalf of the MC of the COST ACTION FA1204, the local organizing committee of CEBAS-CSIC welcomes all interested stakeholders (horticulturalists, plant pathologists, plant breeders, physiologists, biotechnologists and policy makers) to attend the 1stCOST ANNUAL CONFERENCE of the action, jointly organized with the 1st ROOTOPOWER WORKSHOP.

After more than fifty years of crop improvement principally selecting for above ground traits, scientists now perceive root system engineering as an opportunity to integrate new approaches to maintain sustainable crop production under changing environmental conditions while minimizing the demand for new resources. Root-specific traits such as root system architecture, sensing of edaphic stress and root-to-shoot communication can be exploited to improve not only resource capture and plant development under adverse conditions, but also fruit quality. The potential of grafting is as broad as the genetic variability available, and may allow horticulture to cross species barriers between rootstocks and scions, allowing a more direct and efficient exploitation of wild germplasm.

The COST action FA1204 aims at stimulating cutting-edge multidisciplinary transnational collaborations towards identifying and understanding how rootstock-mediated traits can improve vegetable crop yield and quality under adverse biotic and abiotic conditions. Central to both international initiatives is the use of grafting in vegetable species, allowing precise assessment of the effect of altering root traits on crop performance and fruit quality independently of shoot traits, by using wild germplasm, mapping populations and functional lines as rootstocks.

The strategic aim is to help crop producers and breeders to improve yield stability and fruit quality under a changing and challenging environment and to overcome the consequences of unsustainable agricultural practices that are causing soil degradation and depleting natural resources.


The workshop will present recent results in phenotyping, genetics and physiology of rootstock-mediated tomato crop improvement under individual and combined abiotic stresses. This meeting will promote discussion on improving crop stress resistance and quality through more resource efficient rootstocks, allowing a more efficient use of soil, dwindling water and phosphorus resources, and a reduction of the excessive use of nitrogen and potassium fertilizers (which have a high carbon footprint), as well as how this research could be extended to other abiotic and biotic constraints and vegetable crops. Without this research there will be a trend for below-ground biotic and abiotic stresses to decrease plant growth and development throughout the world leading to serious crop yield losses, and hence endangering food security.

The Southeast region of Spain (Murcia and Almeria provinces) is the perfect location to hold this meeting since it is one of the major horticultural areas in the world and produces around 100 million grafted plants at year.


Murcia map


Murcia1     Murcia2     Murcia3

Murcia is a city in south-eastern Spain, the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, and the seventh largest city in the country, with a population of 442,573 inhabitants in 2009 (about one third of the total population of the Region). The population of the metropolitan area was 689,591 in 2010. It is located on the Segura river, in the Southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, noted by a mild climate with hot summers, mild winters and relatively low precipitation.

Murcia was founded by the emir of Cordoba Abd ar-Rahman II in 825 AD with the name Mursiyah مرسية and is now mainly a services city and a university town. Highlights for visitors include the Cathedral of Murcia and a number of baroque buildings, renowned local cuisine, Holy Week procession works of art by the famous Murcian sculptor Francisco Salzillo, and the Fiestas de Primavera (Spring Festival).

The city, as the capital of the region, is known as “Europe’s orchard” due to its long agricultural tradition and as a fruits, vegetables and flowers producer and exporter.



The conference will be held at the Hotel Silken 7 Coronas**** from the 12th to the 14th November 2013.

Hotel Silken 7 Coronas 

This hotel is superbly located in the centre of Murcia, next to the river and within 5 minutes by foot to the Cathedral, 10 minutes to the Auditorium and 15 minutes from the bus and train stations. It is easily accessible from the highway and has guest hotel parking and public parking in the surrounding area.






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