The Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA) has started the project “Do lettuces turn red when they are thirsty? (LetBlu)”, which belongs to the 2022 call “Proyectos Generación de Conocimiento” of the Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica, Técnica y de Innovación 2021-2023 of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Agencia Estatal de Investigación and the European Regional Development Fund. It has a duration of four years and has a budget of 112,500 euros. The project is led by Aurora Díaz Bermúdez, a researcher in the Department of Plant Science at CITA.

With the increasingly evident changes in the climate on a global scale, crops and breeders face numerous challenges, including droughts, floods, rising temperatures (both daytime and nighttime), emergence of new pests and diseases, increased pressure from weeds, and the lengthening or shortening of growing seasons (depending on the crop and region).

This research focuses on the study of anthocyanin accumulation in lettuce plants subjected to drought stress, which in the future could help address two of the main weaknesses of this crop: its low content of bioactive compounds and its low drought tolerance.

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Aragón Ecológico