BioAtlantis is a partner in a new international network of leading scientists, focused on the development of ‘Molecular Priming’ technologies to enhance crop yield under stressful conditions caused by climate change. The project is called “CropPrime”, and is funded up to €1 million under the European Union’s HORIZON-Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme. 

CropPrime will focus on developing novel technologies to improve the tolerance of crops to stresses associated with climate change. This includes the development of ‘plant biostimulant products’, using natural compounds sustainably derived from marine and terrestrial sources, such as seaweed. The project will also develop RNA-based fungicides to reduce fungal infection in crops. The findings of this research will lead to the development of a new generation of sustainable agri-tech products that will help crop growers to ‘prime’ and protect their crops against stressful, adverse weather conditions such as drought, heat, cold and water-logging, stresses that are increasing in incidence due to climate change.

In collaboration with its partners in the project, BioAtlantis will elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying plant stress, and will deliver novel ‘Molecular Priming’ agents to counteract stress-induced crop yield losses. The project brings together expertise in plant systems biology, chemistry, genetics and biostimulant technology in Europe, Africa and South America, and the consortium will channel their efforts to bring sustainable solutions for crop protection to the grower. Crops assessed in this project will include strawberry and tomato.

CropPrime is a pan European network consisting of leading plant research centres and academic institutions, including: VIB-Plant Systems Biology, Ghent (Belgium), The James Hutton Institute (UK), Mendel University in Brno and the Biology Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Czech Republic), the Center of Plant Systems Biology and Biotechnology (Bulgaria). Together with BioAtlantis, the network will develop novel products for plant protection allowing effective flow of information and expertise through EU member states and sectors. Two other non-EU partners (University of Johannesburg, South Africa and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology of Rosario, Argentina) will expand the network on three continents (Europe, Africa, and South America) and ensure access to unique expertise and global impact of the planned research.

BioAtlantis is an Irish-owned marine biotechnology company, employing over 50 people at its headquarters in Tralee, County Kerry. The company is a leading innovator in the Irish bioeconomy and sells is over 30 countries globally. The company’s involvement in CropPrime builds on its strong reputation as a disruptor in the European biotechnology sector and in the delivery of environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions to crop growers worldwide.

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