Starting TomGEM project activities in Valencia

Joint Kick-off Meeting of TomGEM and G2P-SOL

From 11-13 May 2016, the TomGEM consortium came together in Valencia (Spain) to officially kick-off its project activities. The meeting was hosted by TomGEM partner Prof. Antonio Granell and his team from the Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and took place at the premises of the Universitat Politécnica de Valencia (UPV).

The TomGEM meeting was officially opened by the project coordinator, Prof. Mondher Bouzayen from the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (INPT), and the local host giving a warm welcome to all participants. After a brief overview of the TomGEM management and administration structures provided by Eurice, all partners introduced themselves outlining their group expertise, preliminary data and their planned work within the project. To ensure a successful project implementation, the work package leaders provided detailed information about the scientific work within TomGEM and discussed the next steps towards future planning.

As the Kick-off meeting was organized jointly with the G2P-SOL project, a new Horizon 2020 initiative coordinated by Prof. Giovanni Giuliano of the Italian institution ENEA (Agenzia Nazionale Per Le Nuove Tecnologie, L’Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile), the afternoon of the second meeting day was dedicated to a joint session between the TomGEM and the G2P-SOL consortium. Additionally, the Horizon 2020 project TRADITOM was represented by its coordinator Antonio Granell (CSIC). During the joint session, the project coordinators introduced the scope and work plan of their respective projects, followed by a plenary discussion which allowed fruitful exchange between the project participants on the potential interactions between the three Horizon 2020 projects TomGEM, G2P-SOL and TRADITOM.

The meeting was concluded with a joint excursion together with the G2P-SOL group to visit the TomGEM partner institution ‘Fundación Cajamar Comunidad Valenciana’ and its facilities and experimental station fields for agricultural research in Paiporta, just a few kilometers outside of Valencia, where selected tomato lines will be cultivated and managed in greenhouses within TomGEM.

TomGEM – 18 international partners

TomGEM receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme with a total budget of € 5.6 million and has a duration of four years starting from 1 March 2016. TomGEM is characterized by a holistic multi-actor approach including academic groups with extensive experience in plant science and microbiology, plant genomics, and plant metabolism as well as SME’s from the fruit and vegetable breeding sector.

The main objectives of TomGEM are the implementation of smart approaches to identify useful genetic resources, genes and loci within tomato germplasm collections that could be used to maintain high yield performance in adverse temperature conditions without quality loss. Through the involvement of tomato producers and breeders new targets and innovative breeding and management strategies shall be provided to foster breeding of new tomato cultivars with improved yield under suboptimal temperature conditions.