The scientific objectives of the project are:

• To identify new QTLs, candidate genes and novel signalling processes involved in root specific responses of tomato to abiotic stresses including 3 major nutrient deficiencies, and some naturally occurring stress combinations.

• To generate new genetic, genomic and physiological information, regarding the capacity or root colonisation by beneficial rhizosphere microorganisms (AMF and PGPR).

• To link the generated genetic, physiological and agronomical knowledge through the modelling of genetic and environmental dependencies of root system architecture.

• To evaluate selected and combined genetic plant material and microorganisms in controlled multi-stress environments and real Northern and Southern European cropping conditions.

• To understand biological interactions between roots and rhizosphere microorganisms (AMF and PGPR), and to identify at least one root genetic marker for each microorganism and the associated root-signalling mechanisms.

• To understand the genetic controls of different types of root-to-shoot signalling (hydraulic, ionomic and hormonal) that positively affect shoot performance under the abiotic stress conditions.