About the project

Goal and objectives

The major goal of RESIST is to unravel the genetic determinants of desiccation tolerance in resurrection plants and to identify similarities and differences with model and crop species. The newly acquired fundamental knowledge on resurrection plants will be translated to economically important species. A secondary objective will be to explore the possibility of integrating seaweed based stress mitigation technology to improve crop tolerance to drought.

Scientific objectives:

  1. Sequencing, assembly, annotation and analysis of the genomes of the resurrection species Haberlea rhodopensis and Xerophyta elegans;
  2. Comprehensive genome comparison of publicly available genomes of extremophile species (including the abovementioned resurrection plants) and mesophiles;
  3. Comparative transcriptome, metabolome and lipidome analyses of Haberlea rhodopensis and Xerophyta elegans during desiccation and other extreme stress conditions;
  4. Detailed evaluation of the physiological and molecular drought stress responses in model and crop species and juxtaposition to those in resurrection plants;
  5. Functional analysis of drought-responsive genes from the desiccation resistant Haberlea rhodopensis and Xerophyta sp.;
  6. Bioinformatics and computational modelling of desiccation tolerance in angiosperm resurrection species;
  7. Assessment the potential of seaweed–based biostimulants to enhance yield, quality and post-harvest shelf life of stressed and unstressed crops and optimization of the treatment regimes

Networking objective:

Extensive exchange of knowledge and technologies related to resurrection plant research, genome analysis, comparative genomics, and bioinformatics between the European and South African partners, as well as between the academic institutions and the industrial representative BioAtlantis.