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Early detection of low temperature plant stress: towards a tool for energy-efficient production (EARLYTOOL)
Date du début: 22 août 2011, Date de fin: 12 déc. 2013 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

"The incidence of low temperature in greenhouse cultivation involves the reduction of crop yield and the use of heating in order to avoid such decrease. In Central/Northern Europe, high input of fossil energy is used to increase plant productivity, which significantly contributes to emission of greenhouse gases. In contrast, heating is only used for very extreme conditions in Southern Europe, which results in a huge “productivity gap” between both European regions.Therefore, the research objectives of this project are: (1) to increase our knowledge about the effect of low temperatures on crop growth and yield in function of the stress doses, and (2) to test the feasibility of a “stress indicator”, based on the technique of chlorophyll a fluorescence imaging (CFI), as tool on which to base temperature management in greenhouses. The achievement of these objectives will promote the optimization of greenhouse cultivation, through early detection of cold stress and ensuing response management, and will boost energy use efficiency.The proposed project will require a two-year mobility period at Wageningen University. Several experiments with bell pepper will be carried out in climate chambers (1st year), and a validation of the obtained results will be performed through experiments in a real greenhouse situation (2nd year). Plant response and recovery to/from different stress doses will be analyzed by CFI and biomass measurements. In the greenhouse experiments, real-time CFI measurements will be used to detect plant stress and correct greenhouse temperature before yield can be affected.The training objectives of the proposed project for the fellow are to extend her knowledge in the area of plant stress, to gain proficiency in the technique of CFI, to learn new strategies in greenhouse management and to improve other complementary research skills, thus providing a boost for her career development and independence."