Call for SR&TD Project Grants - 2017
A systems approach to understand the impact of climate changes in Coffea spp.
José Domingos Cochicho Ramalho
Instituto Superior de Agronomia
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Biological Sciences
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Coffee species has been categorized as a highly sensitive to climatic changes, based almost solely on climatic model studies that predicted dramatic effects on the coffee crop, including extensive reductions of suitable areas, yields, and natural coffee biodiversity, increasing agricultural, social and economic vulnerabilities. However, since no biological data was available, such climate modelling estimates showed some bias, since were frequently restricted to predictions of rising temperatures, neglecting plant resilience to stress, and the role of high [CO2]. In fact, the first worldwide reports of the real coffee plant response to warming in interaction with [CO2] were only recently presented by our team. It was clearly shown that coffee plants can cope with temperatures higher than usually assumed, and that high air [CO2] (a major driver of warming) mitigate the negative heat impacts, and is a crucial factor to coffee warming acclimation at physiological/biochemical level, from photosynthesis to mineral balance. This highlighted that global warming impacts on coffee sustainability would be lower than previously assumed.
Temperature and water availability are the most shaping factors to coffee crop, existing a clear need to deepen our knowledge on the molecular basis of this plant response to warming and drought (implemented by the Brazilian team, see annexed program) in interaction with [CO2]. Systems biology, globally called as ?Omics?, led to significant advances on the global knowledge of plant biology (development and functioning), genomics-assisted breeding towards the production of crops tolerant to extreme conditions, among them high temperature, although its use in perennial plants is still restricted to a small group of trees, namely eucalyptus, poplar, abies and pine. Therefore, to unveil the molecular mechanisms involved in the improved heat response of coffee plant, and contributing to this crop sustainability under ongoing climate changes, a systems biology approach emerge as the obvious choice. The studies in Portugal will consider 2 cropped genotypes of C. arabica and C. canephora grown under 2 air [CO2] (380/700 ppm), which will be gradually submitted to supra-optimal temperatures from control (25 ºC) up to 42 ºC. Leaf material collected at several temperatures will be submitted to a complementary transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and lipidomic analysis, coupled with bioinformatics in order to integrates computational and statistical information. This innovative proposal for coffee integrate a large data set, constituting a significant knowledge breakthrough in the coffee plant response to global warming (Portugiese team) and to drought (Brazilian team). It integrates an international and multidisciplinary team with a large experience on coffee research, strengthening international collaborations and promoting results diffusion, together with advanced training and the collaboration with coffee industry (NovaDELTA).
Climate ChangesCoffee Crop SustainabilityCO2 Mitigating Role Under Heat Molecular Heat Tolerance Profiling