About the ECO-SOL Project

Download the whitepaper [pdf (updated August 5, 2006)]

The ECO-SOL, formerly called the SOL-ANDINO project, is an international and integrative research network for scientists to share and enrich resources, visions and capacities relating to biodiversity, ecology, conservation, breeding and sustainable agriculture of Solanaceae in the centers of their biodiversity. This initiative of the SOL network provides a virtual umbrella to link the tremendous Sol genomic efforts to basic and applied biological research of Solanaceae in their native and agricultural habitats. ECO-SOL will facilitate and coordinate networks between researchers and funding agencies to achieve a multidisciplinary expedition into the study of biodiversity and adaptation and by supporting the creation of permanent in situ conservation sites in the centers of Solanaceae biodiversity, such as the Andean region of South America. The initiative will integrate expertise, visions and perspectives of scientists from different biological and agricultural research fields and nationalities into the SOL Network. Currently, the ECO-SOL initiative anticipates connecting scientists through three major objectives:

  1. mapping, conserving and characterizing Solanaceae biodiversity,
  2. advancing natural history and ecology research of Solanaceae, and
  3. improving the efficiency and sustainability of Solanaceae breeding and cultivation.

A whitepaper is available with more details about the current ECO-SOL objectives. It includes contributions from Solanaceae scientist around the world and represents a general framework that is subject to more specific development. The content of the whitepaper can be freely used by people who want to write grants within the ECO-SOL framework.

Building for the future of plant science depends upon the development of an integrated, collaborative and diverse research community. The ECO-SOL network will help to provide the framework for the establishment of a shared vision that will enhance both biological and cultural diversity of the SOL community. Partnerships forged across biological disciplines that have traditionally been separated and integrating our knowledge of plants across a broad scientific spectrum have the real potential to take plant science to a new and promising level.

Current ECO-SOL research projects

  • Diversification of Andean crop systems at local and landscape scales: enhancing biological control of potato pests. Katja Poveda, Georg-August University, Goettingen/ Germany (Funding: DFG) (http://wwwuser.gwdg.de/~uaoe/mitarbeiter/k_poveda.htm)
  • Development of EST databases for the Andean fruit species lulo and tree tomato. Steven D. Tanksley, Cornell University, NY (USA), Luz Stella Barrero, CORPOICA, Bogota (Colombia) (Funding: NSF supplement DCC-PGR)(lbarrero2005@yahoo.com)
  • Revision of Solanum section Geminata in Colombia. Juan Carlos Granado-Tochoy, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
  • Revision of Solanum section Regmandra in western South America. Jonathan Bennett, The Natural History Museum, London (Funding PBI Solanum, NSF) (j.bennett@nhm.ac.uk)
  • Ecological consequences of herbivory-induced metabolic responses of wild tomato species. Andre Kessler, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY/ USA (Funding: Cornell University)(http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/kessler/index.html)
  • Herbivore-induced changes in wild tomato (Solanum habrochaites, S. peruvianum) flower morphology and pollinator behavior. Andre Kessler, Cornell University, NY/ USA (Funding: NSF, pending)(http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/kessler/index.html)
  • Improving Micronutrient content of potato for reduced malnutrition HarvestPlus Challenge Program; CIP (http://www.cipotato.org/news_index.asp)
  • Genomics and Biodiversity Providing New Opportunities for smallholder Potato Farmers. Government of Germany (CIP, U Nac. Colombia, UNAM Peru, INIAP Ecuador, PROPINAPA Bolivia) (http://www.cipotato.org/news_index.asp)
  • Conservacio uso sostenible de la Agrobiodiversidad de las Papas Nativas Government of Spain- CIP, NEIKER, Spain (http://www.cipotato.org/news_index.asp)
  • Mejoramiento participativo y producci??escentralizada de semilla de cultivos andinos. Government of Peru- CIP, INIA Peru (http://www.cipotato.org/news_index.asp)
  • Assess environmental risks of gene technologies. CIP core funding (http://www.cipotato.org/news_index.asp)
  • Exotic strains of Phytophthora infestans in the Andes genetically isolated curiosities or time bombs for native Solanaceous crops? Research Fellow Partnership Programme (RFPP), Ricardo Oliva, Greg Forbes from CIP, and Cesare Gessler from ETH Zurich. (Funded by ZIL Research Fellow Partnership Programme) (http://www.cipotato.org/news_index.asp) (http://www.path.ethz.ch/people/members/current_members/cgessler)