WP1 - Plant and leaf physiology
• To study plant and leaf physiology of switchgrass, miscanthus and giant reed with respect of early emergence, osmotic regulation, photosynthesis and transpiration efficiency under salinity and water stress conditions, senescence and regulation of metabolite degradation, improvement of biomass characteristics to increase capacity for rapid drying.
WP2 - Plant biotechnology
• To allow the generation of novel varieties of plants through SNP marker development using new developed technique, Illumina SNP OPA development and genotyping promising clones, core collection identified, phylogeographic analysis and markers utilization.
WP3 - Plant agronomy
• To collect and characterize both the endemic perennial grasses and novel varieties of plants suitable for South Europe that will address the challenge of climate change and good agricultural practices for already known perennial grasses (sowing /planting strategies by seed and plant cuttings, cultivation under salinity and water stress conditions, homogenous feedstock tests).
WP4 - Farm-scale productivity of perennial grasses on marginal lands
• To determine the farm-scale productivity for the selected perennial grasses for yields maximization in marginal lands and to tackle specific bottlenecks (cultivation techniques such as intercropping in marginal lands, productivity in marginal large fields and long term productivity of existing large scale planatation, harvesting and storage issues, logistic to delivery to market).
WP5 - Energy products and plant derived biomaterials
• To investigate different pathways for both biomass production and new plant-derived bio-products, bioenergy products (conversion paths & technical specifications for grassy biomass), biomass requirements for different conversion technologies (potentials, technical specifications and logistics), market analysis and regulatory framework for bioenergy and bio-based products in Southern Europe.
WP6 - Environmental studies on perennial crops
• To exploit specific environmental implications of perennial grasses on marginal lands, with particular emphasis on the assessment of CO2 and water exchange between canopy and atmosphere, root development and carbon storing in the soil, energy balance, phytoremediation, soil erosion mitigation by the selected perennial grasses and environmental impact assessment (EIA).
WP7 - Integrated assessment of sustainability
• To provide an integrated assessment of sustainability of perennial grasses based on life cycle assessment (LCA), cost, socio-economic implications, energy balance and SWOT analysis from the agricultural production to the industrial supply.
WP8 - Dissemination
• To disseminate project activities and results among stakeholders.
WP9 - Project management
• To coordinate and manage the OPTIMA project.