03.09.2020 | Media Release, iDiv, TOP NEWS, Domestication Genomics, iDiv Members

ERC Starting Grant for iDiv junior scientists Dr Martin Mascher

Dr Martin Mascher, former head of the iDiv Junior Research Group "Domestication Genomics" (Picture: IPK/ Andreas Bähring)

Based on a media release by the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)

Gatersleben: Great success for iDiv Junior Research Group head Dr Martin Mascher. The 34 years old scientist affiliated to the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) receives a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). His current research project TRANSFER will thus receive 1.5 million euros in funding over the next five years.

The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe. The funding, worth in total 677 million euros, will help these early-career scientists and scholars to build their own teams and conduct pioneering research across all disciplines. The grants are part of the EU’s Research an Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

Martin Mascher is head of the Junior Research Group “Domestication Genomics” at iDiv and the IPK. His ERC project TRANSFER aims at understanding the prospects of using crop wild relatives in plant breeding. Wild species related to our crops are an important reservoir of useful genetic diversity in agronomic characters. However, crossing distantly related species is extremely challenging, and wild species are not commonly used by breeders. In the TRANSFER project, Mascher and his team will work with wild relatives of barley from Patagonia (South America). Genomic and genetic studies will elucidate the molecular basis of exceptional salt tolerance in these species and probe their transferability into domesticated barley.

“The success in the ERC scheme is a great recognition of my recent work on cereal genomics,” , says Mascher. “I am looking forward to continue in the coming years the successful collaboration with so many colleagues at IPK.”



Dr Martin Mascher
Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)
Phone: +49 39482 5243
Email: mascher@ipk-gatersleben.de


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