Hussam Nour-Eldin partner in larger consortium – University of Copenhagen

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01 January 2020

Hussam Nour-Eldin partner in larger consortium

GRANT

As part of the NNF Challenge Programme, NOVOCrops,DynaMo partner Hussam Nour-Eldin receives Novo Nordisk funding to accelerate the breeding of resilient crop plants.

Nine plant species provide almost all the world’s food intake, and all are refined. By comparison, there are about 380,000 wild plant species. Nature therefore offers us huge genetic variation that we do not exploit today.
In the project 'NOVOCrops: Accelerated Domestication of Resilient Climate Change Friendly Plant Species', the researchers will test methods for accelerated breeding on a variety of wild plants to create crops that are resilient to factors such as climate change. These wild plants are the ancestors of our modern crops. Although yields are small, they are more robust to diseases and extreme weather such as drought or flooding.
Based on the wild varieties, the researchers will create crops that combine the robustness of the wild plants with the good yield from the refined plants. Using new breeding techniques, the researchers will use six wild or semi-cultivated plant species for targeted breeding and  thus accelerate a breeding process that can take several thousands of years in the wild based on random variation.
Hussam’s research will focus on developing transport engineering technology to eliminate harmful toxic plant defense compounds from edible parts without compromising plant fitness.

The NOVOCrops project started on 1 January 2020 and has a duration of 5 years. Professor Michael Broberg Palmgren is the coordinator and received a grant of DKK 60 million for the project.