The HARNESSTOM WPN comprises nine work packages, which include seven technical work packages (WP3-9), one work package dedicated to dissemination, exploitation and training activities (WP2), and another one to support scientific and management coordination activities (WP1). Each work package is led by experts in the related field, who, in most of the cases, is joined by an expert from academia with another one from industry to ensure that a highly innovative focus is maintained throughout the WPN.

As part of the WPN, HARNESSTOM will harmonize and centralize the information that is currently dispersed in different GenRes databases and will facilitate access to interested stakeholders, incorporating tools for visualization and analysis (WP3). A catalogue of the genetic diversity including the associated phenotypes resulting from several EU-funded projects will be compiled, and access to the information will be facilitated by the implementation of user-friendly searching and display tools. The repository will be enriched with published information on natural diversity and breeding populations, including QTL maps and QTL markers for a large number of reported traits. As an interface between information and pre-breeding, new breeding materials and tools will be generated to speed up breeding (WP4). In a translation approach for innovation, tomato germplasm and knowledge contributed by HARNESSTOM academic partners will be used to conduct four pre-breeding study cases directed at increasing resilience to emerging biotic and abiotic stresses that are currently of major concern for the industry and to improve fruit quality for consumers. Pre-breeding will be conducted by utilizing, as recurrent germplasm, elite lines from the participating seed companies or a selection of traditional varieties from farmers (WP5 to WP8). In each of those WPs, field trials in different pedoclimatic conditions will be done in close interactions between scientists, breeders and farmers to assess the pre-breeding lines’ suitability for solving industry challenges (farmers and breeding companies) while consumers’ evaluation performed on selected genotypes (WP7) will define their satisfaction levels in relation to needs and preferences. The HARNESSTOM work programme will also strongly focus on dissemination, training and networking activities (WP2). Different actors will be trained on germplasm management and exchange, data mining, etc. Intensive networking sessions will bring together members of different communities of academics, industry, gene banks, seed networks, farmer associations, local farmers.  


WP1 Project Management and Coordination

Work package 1 will provide the organizational framework and all necessary support mechanisms to enable a smooth project workflow in HARNESSTOM and to ensure that all contractual commitments can be achieved within the specified timeframe. All members of the HARNESSTOM have experience in working in large consortia in previous EU projects and therefore are used to the administrative requirements and timely reporting but they range from large institutions to SME or NGO with specific management support needs.

Interview with Dr. Antonio Granell. CSIC


WP2 Societal issues. Stakeholder engagement and project dissemination; legislation and public acceptance; ethics.

WP2 will ensure consistent dissemination and communication, ensuring optimal visibility and a wide outreach to all relevant stakeholders, including receiving feedback from them and will provide training for using GenRes to different stakeholders and in consideration of the ethics and legislation.


WP3 One-stop-shop for tomato GenRes information, visualization and pre-breeding tools.

The overall WP3 objective is to provide a definitive universal tomato genetic resources information and plant prebreeding bioinformatics tools platform based in Europe. We aim to provide public and private partners with a curated and integrated web-based relational database including data mining tools and publicly available genomics, genetics and breeding data for tomato accessible via an academia URL in a one-stop-shop configuration. It aims also to give access to modern breeding technologies, breeding materials and related information in a centralized and practical manner, thus facilitating the adoption of molecular breeding approaches for improving the breeding efficiency.

Interview with WP Leader Dr. Mohamed Zouine. INPT

WP4 Tools to increase the speed, efficiency and precision of breeding.

The global objective of this WP is to develop tools and protocols to increase the speed, efficiency and precision of breeding. These will include methods to decrease generation time (speed breeding) and increase recombination efficiency and thus reduce linkage drag and accelerate the production of new allele combinations. Genetic materials and collections will be inventoried and the information will be provided to WP3 for inclusion in the informatics platform, and low cost efficient genotyping and genomic selection protocols will be developed and used to accelerate work in WPs 5-8.

Interview with WP Leader Prof. Giovanni Giuliano. ENEA


WP5 Improving resistance against (emerging) diseases

The main objective of this workpackage is to improve the disease resistance of tomato by providing a comprehensive list of all QTLs and markers for disease resistance genes  identified so far in tomato germplasm and by introducing resistanceto three of the most important emerging diseases: the leaf mould disease caused by new strains of the biotrophic fungus C. fulvum and two new emerging viral diseases caused by Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) and Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV).

Interview with WP Leader Prof. Yuling Bai. Wageningen Univ. & Research.


WP6 Pre-breeding activities towards improving tomato tolerance to climate change threats.

The main objective of WP6 is to generate pre-breeding elite tomato materials and evaluate the use of rootstocks with tolerance against environmental stress conditions associated to climate change, including drought, high temperature and salinity stresses. In a cooperative effort, academia, non-profit associations and industry partners will team up to develop breeding lines that can cope with abiotic stresses under different cultivation conditions and pedoclimatic areas across Europe and beyond.

Interview with WP Leader Dr. Antonio J. Monforte. CSIC.


WP7 Improving fruit quality.

The main objective of Wp7 is to develop pre-breeding lines that have improved consumer-driven traits, mainly flavour and health-related compound composition, while maintaining characteristics of interest for producers and other stakeholders, such as productivity, texture, shelf-life and god performance under different pedoclimatic and cultivation conditions.

Interview with WP Leader  Dra. Mathilde Causse. INRAE


WP8 Participatory Plant Breeding and Citizens Science: Connecting genetic resources, plant breeding and scientific methodology with society.

The general aim of WP8 is to involve farmers, consumers, trend maker chefs and academy in the pre-breeding and breeding activities by designing innovative strategies that will ultimately result in locally-adapted materials. At the same time, the WP8 will promote the access of citizens to the science behind the sustainable utilization of genetic resources in agriculture. This will allow the implication of farmers and final users (consumers, chefs) in the design of ideotypes and their development (Participatory Plant Breeding) mainly in relation to agronomic performances and to sensory quality of the final product. This can affect either ideotypes managed by breeding companies, or local varieties that are not being covered by seed companies but have a local value. The role of academy is to guarantee that scientific methodology is used in order to obtain the ideotype proposed. Innovative ways of transferring the germplasm to farmers and other citizens (distribution through public repositories) will be implemented.

Interview with WP Leader Prof. Maria J Diez. UPV


WP9 Global assessment of advanced materials, marketing strategy, life cycle assessment

The WP9 main objective is asses the main project achievements and the pre-breeding material potential . Some of the activities that will be located in this WP are: Conduct a survey of products and processes obtained in the previous WPs, Evaluate the commercial advantages of introducing new technologies and traits, Provide a Proof of concept demonstration, Develop Business Design and Marketing strategies and Verify the sustainability of product and processes developed

Website hosted by Toulouse INP