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The project aims at characterizing the diversity of responses of several one-year-old French apple cultivars to water stress. I will evaluate the effect of water stress in tree morphological development (growth, leaf area, total biomass) and leaf functioning (water potential, stomatal regulation and transpiration). Genetics tools will be also used to identify alleles that may be related with water stress tolerance. This project will allow introducing tolerance to water deficit as a new selection criterion for apple tree.
Gerardo Lopez is an agricultural engineer from the Public University of Navarra (Spain) and PhD in crop production from the University of Lleida (Spain). After his PhD and before the Agrenskills project, Gerardo Lopez accumulated seven years of research experience in three centres: IRTA-Spain (5 years); University of California, Davis, USA (1 years) and University of Bologna-Italy (1 year). His major goal was to understand the effects of water stress on fruit production and quality of fruit. He has provided valuable information on how to manage fruit trees under drought using agronomic techniques such as fruit thinning, summer pruning, and net shading. Then, Gerardo developed the AgreenSkills project at INRA Montpellier (France) during a period of 1.5 years. During the AgreenSkills project he studied the interaction between water stress and apple genotypes in a large collections of plants to facilitate the selection of plants with high water use efficiency. The visibility of the AgreenSkills program, the experience gained during the project and new research contacts in Montpellier allowed me to obtain a permanent position in a private company (itk, Intelligence Technology Knowledge, in Montpellier) to develop agricultural models for decision support in agriculture.
G. Lopez, G. Echeverria, M. Mata, J. Bellvert, M.H. Behboudian, J. Girona, J. Marsal, 2016. Water stress for a short period before harvest in nectarine: Yield, fruit composition, sensory quality, and consumer acceptance of fruit. Scientia Horticulturae 211:1-7.
P.E. Lauri, T.S. Barigah, G. Lopez, et al., 2016. Genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity of apple morphological responses to soil water restriction in relation with leaf functions and stem xylem conductivity. Trees - Structure and Function. 30(5), 1893-1908.
J. Marsal, J. Casadesus, G. Lopez, M. Mata, J. Bellvert, J. Girona, 2016. Sustainability of Regulated Deficit Irrigation in a mid-maturing peach cultivar. Irrigation Science. Doi: 10.1007/s00271-016-0498-4.
G. Lopez, B. Pallas, S. Martinez, et al., 2015. Genetic Variation of Morphological Traits and Transpiration in an Apple Core Collection under Well-Watered Conditions: Towards the Identification of Morphotypes with High Water Use Efficiency. PLoS ONE 10(12):e0145540.
J. Marsal, J. Girona, J. Casadesus, G. Lopez, C.O. Stöckle, 2013. Crop coefficient (Kc) for apple: comparison between measurement by a weighing lysimeter and prediction by CropSyst. Irrigation Science, 31:455-463. Doi: 10.1007/s00271-012-0323-7.
Extraordinary doctorate award - University of Lleida