Intensifying Training in Europe for Genomic Research Activity on Legumes (INTEGRAL)

Project leader

Funding source

EU Sixth Framework Programme - Marie Curie

Project Details

Start date: 01/04/2004
End date: 31/03/2008
Funding: 2049520 EUR


INTEGRAL provides a training umbrella for eleven young researchers centred on the agriculturally important nitrogen-fixing root nodule and the arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis. INTEGRAL has assembled ten training laboratories with complementary expertise in advanced molecular genetics, bioinformatics, functional genomics, metabolite profiling and cellular imaging technologies. Trainees will be exposed to a range of state-of-the-art technology through training by research leading to a PhD, complemented by secondments and technology-based workshops. Network and training activities will focus on a gene function analysis pipeline in which the role of genes in symbiotic development and function can be efficiently determined. INTEGRAL will seek to identify key genes governing the development of both symbioses and, in addition will characterise genes determining metabolite flows within the established nitrogen-fixing root nodule. Candidate genes with potential functions in both symbioses will be fed into the pipeline and subjected to genetic analysis. Plants will be generated that are compromised in the function of the candidate gene. Input into the pipeline will also come from forward screens for symbiotically defective mutants. The consequences of these gene knockouts for symbiotic performance will be assessed through a combination of cytological analysis, transcript and metabolite profiling as well as physiological experiments. We anticipate that INTEGRAL will define the function of key regulatory genes controlling root symbioses. Knowledge gained in this area will help to unlock the full potential of root symbioses for agriculture. The long-term goal is to develop crop cultivars with optimised symbiotic performance that require reduced fertiliser input and with the associated economical, environmental and human health benefits. Training of young researchers in this area is crucial to drive forward advances in our understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of these nutrient-acquiring symbioses, which will undoubtedly be required for the development of a more sustainable agriculture. The INTEGRAL project capitalizes on the investment made in the previous EU funded RTN project HPRN-CT-2000-0086 acronym LOTUS, referred to as ‘LOTUS project’ in this document.

External Partners

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:15