Only a low fraction of the available maize diversity is currently used in breeding programs. DROMAMED plans to rescue that unused germplasm to implement Innovative Farming Systems (IFS) in order to achieve sustainability by using agronomic practices that optimize inputs.

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Period of Implementation

Jun 1, 2021 - Nov 30, 2024
Total Budget

EUR 2,027,033.52



i) Develop Innovative Farming Systems (IFS) by using maize germplasm collections maintained in Mediterranean countries, which hold large variability and have been selected for adaptation to a diversity of stressful environments. ii) Capitalize current and new knowledge about mechanisms of adaptation to specific environments and tolerance to stresses to define novel selection indexes; iii) Develop and/or improve IFS that will increase our ability to optimize breeding approaches and crop management practices enhancing maize adaptation and tolerance to abiotic stresses.


The main objective of DROMAMED is to implement biodiversity-based IFS using resilient maize varieties in order to enhance the sustainability of farming systems; that is, being climate resilient and efficient, cost-effective and environmentally and socially responsible.

Problems and Needs Analysis

The World as a whole, but the Mediterranean Area particularly, are facing the unsustainable use and management of natural resources and the degradation of the lands for cultivation. Having this challenge in mind, DROMAMED will launch activities to increase the variety of available food and the ability of maize agroecosystems to effectively respond and adapt to environmental challenges by ensuring biodiversity and releasing materials and resources for supporting sustainable Innovative Farming Systems under unfavourable conditions, while farmers conditions are improved.

Intervention Strategy(ies)

• SO1/WP1: Assemble three germplasm collections (landraces, inbred lines and improved varieties) of maize adapted to Mediterranean dry areas, by pooling, evaluating, and screening for stress-tolerance national germplasm collections • SO2/WP2: Support Innovative Farming Systems (IFS) by promoting soil fertility, quality, and sustainability of agricultural models • SO3/WP3: Identify and characterize Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL), involved in maize adaptation to drought and heat stress • SO4/WP4: Investigate the physiological and morphological mechanisms involved in maize resilience to drought and temperature stress • SO5/WP5: Establish predictive models and selection criteria for breeding programs focusing on tolerance to drought and high temperature. Phenotypic, marker assisted, and genomic selection models will be designed to improve tolerance to combined stresses • SO6/WP6: Complete breeding programs initiated in previous projects and release new stress tolerant populations, inbred lines, and hybrids, to be evaluated by stakeholders. Improved varieties will mitigate the effects of drought and heat stresses of climate change scenarios and to achieve sustainable production.

Impact Pathway

DROMAMED will have an immediate impact, and is aware of the relevance of providing guidance to farmers. Project’s results will provide arguments for social and economic useful analyses for policy decisions. Increased demand of improved local varieties will promote policy decisions about registration, multiplication and commercialization of local varieties, adaptive learning for both crop scientists and producers, and valorisation of agriculture with products with added value. The interaction between crop scientists, producers and farmers will result in guidance to conventional farmers for a transition to more sustainable and resilient farming systems.


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