App developed to make potato resilient to climate change

Ljubljana – A team of researchers at Slovenia’s National Institute of Biology (NiB) has presented StressKnowledgeMap, an app that will help potato breeders develop more weather stress-resistant potato varieties.

The app brings together the world’s knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of plant stress responses and organises it into complex functional networks, the NiB said.

Information on genes involved in the stress response has been integrated into the app alongside mRNAs and the translation of mRNAs into proteins that have a function in the plant response.

The researchers, led by Kristina Gruden, have also described the links between these elements and other regulatory mechanisms, thus combining the dispersed knowledge from countless experiments into digital tools that allows computer modelling of plant stress responses.

At https://skm.nib.si, users can review, research and analyse data or add new data as well as export it for the purposes of modelling and visualisation.

This enables scientists to jointly improve the treasure trove of knowledge gathered in the StressKnowledgeMap app, the NiB said in a press release.

The app has been developed as part of the Accelerated Development of multiple-stress tolerAnt PoTato (ADAPT) project funded by the EU-Horizon 2020 programme.

The project aims at making potato varieties more resilient to adverse weather conditions to contribute to new strategies of adapting this plant to future climate changes.