UNTWIST Uncover and promote tolerance to
temperature and water stress in Camelina sativa


Uncover and promote tolerance to

temperature and water stress in Camelina sativa

Europe has experienced an increasingly variable climate and extreme weather episodes. The recent examples of summer 2018 with extreme heat and drought conditions in continental and northern Europe, and the Mediterranean growing season of 2016-17 were the driest in the last century. It is now accepted that European agriculture will in future face immense losses in quantity (yield) and quality (value) as crops are very often highly sensitive to abiotic stress conditions (e.g. drought, temperature.


H2020-SFS-2019-2 | Agri-Aqua-Lab | RIA


€ 5 milion

Start date



60 months

Project details

The challenge

Researchers are turning their attention to more diverse, resilient crops and UNTWIST addresses this challenge by taking advantage of the climate-resilient, traditional European oilseed crop camelina to provide a mechanistic understanding of successful adaptation strategies to drought and heat stress. Camelina sativa is a re-emerging native European oilseed that has retained its natural stress tolerance and receives attention because of its untapped breeding potential, adaptability, yield stability and high performance in variable environments.

The solution

UNTWIST aims to provide a diverse, genetically well characterised, camelina population of at least 50 genotypes, with different environmental resilience traits, for cultivation under stress conditions in the open field and in controlled environments. In order to improve the predictions of crop performance, UNTWIST will demonstrate top-down modelling to diverse camelina genotypes grown under different environmental conditions (water availability and temperature). An optimised agronomic management of camelina will be established with the development of breeding tools, predictive models and management strategies for camelina growth and cultivation under different environmental conditions across several EU locations (Spain, Italy, France and UK). At the project start, positioned at TRL3 (experimental proof of concept) as lab-scale experimental procedure, UNTWIST will bring the proposed solutions forward to TRL5 (technology validated in real space environment) as the interplay of these mechanisms are revealed, models for crop yield prediction are developed and validated in multilocation field trials in UNTWIST.

The main impacts

The UNTWIST project will provide a fundamental understanding of crop adaptation to drought and heat stress, underpinning efforts to increase yield stability in adverse and changing environments, specifically by: advancing scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying adaptation of crops to diverse and often extreme local growth conditions, applying leading-edge modelling approaches to improve prediction of crop adaptation in response to environmental stress; and translating the mechanistic understanding of plant adaptation into crop improvement and optimized agronomic management strategies.


This project has received funding from European Union’s Horizon 2020, under grant agreement No 862524.

Information and views set out across this project are those of the Consortium and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion or position of the European Union. Neither European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use that may be made of the information contained herein.