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News from the CPBL

  • May 1st 2022

Welcome Dr. Veronica Santoro from the University of Turin, Italy

Dr Santoro has obtained an EMBO Short Term Fellowship (May-July 2022) to examine the role of strigolactones and ethylene interaction in controlling tomato plants acclimation to phosphorus deficiency.

  • April 14th 2022

Closing event of Brussels Institutes for Advanced Spring 2022 program


We will host Mr. Raschad Al-Khafaji Director, FAO Liaison Office with the European Union and Belgium.

  • May 10th 2021

Opening session of Brussels Institutes for Advanced Studies - The past, present and future of food, climate and sustainability.


The two first BrIAS talks will take place on May 10th and 12nd 2021. These seminars presented by members of FOST (Social and Cultural Food Studies - VUB) and CPBL (Crop Production and Biostimulation Laboratory - ULB) will introduce the first theme. Both talks will be an opportunity for a dialogue between the public and the two research teams.

Frits Heinrich (FOST) Eat like an Egyptian. Interdisciplinary insights into food and (mal)nutrition in Roman Egypt.

Cereals and pulses have been important staples in most human diets since the Neolithic. Despite being recognized as energy suppliers in the diet, their nutritional appraisal by historians has been rather grim, as they have long been held responsible for the alleged poor nutritional status of the Romans. This talk challenges this view and presents new nutritional evidence from a unique collection of perfectly preserved archaeological plant remains from the Greco-Roman town of Karanis in Egypt.

Christian Hermans & David Cannella (CPBL) Food for plants - waste for food?

Plant mineral nutrition underpins global food security. Plant breeding has delivered substantial productivity gains by developing high-yielding crop varieties but requiring high input, hence negatively impacting the environment. Today, a pivotal success is the creation of so-called ‘smart’ crop varieties, which yield more with fewer soil resources and protection products. Majority of plant-food waste is composed by indigestible parts for humans, with no direct nutritional value. There is a better end for food waste than throwing away. Bio-based green technologies, such as biocatalysis, are used to transform waste biomass into high-value nutritional molecules like oligosaccharides prebiotics, plant stimulant and biopesticides, biomaterials, and finally biofuels. How sunlight can improve the sustainability of these processes by boosting the enzymatic reactions (photobiocatalysis)?

  • April 1st 2021

New ERA-NET project April 2021 - March 2024



Fortifying and Enhancing Resilience in C4 Crops for Current and Future Climate Change Adversities (C4FUTURE)

SusCrop is an ERA-Net Cofund Action in the field of Sustainable Crop Production. Within that frame, CPBL is coordinating C4FUTURE, a consortium with six partners from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey.

C4FUTURE exploits the natural variation in maize and sorghum diversity panels to enhance adaptation to nitrogen and water stresses, being already major constrains on crop productivity and expected to accentuate due to climate change. A key to this project is in situ phenotyping of germplasm collections under various stress combinations across four Mediterranean sites, representing a climatic gradient. Advanced root and shoot phenotyping, integrative phenomic data collection, systems biology and genome mapping approaches will be employed to identify candidate genes underlying the response of these crops to nitrogen deficiency and drought. The results will provide comprehensive insights into C4 cereals adaptation to climate change and facilitate crop improvement and management strategies, thereby augmenting crop sustainability and food security.

Updated on June 2, 2022