The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)


About Heleen Schoenmaker

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So far Heleen Schoenmaker has created 60 blog entries.

European Citizens’ Initiative Grow Scientific Progress – Crops Matter


A group of MSc students has taken the initiative to contribute to responsible agricultural innovation in the EU by urging the European commission to improve the outdated legislation on plant breeding. The current regulatory system results in an implicit ban of new plant breeding techniques. These new techniques are valuable tools for breeding more resilient crops, with less resources and in less time: a much-needed advancement in times of climate change and prospected food insecurity - and thus something we simply cannot afford to miss out on. The Grow Scientific Progress – Crops Matter committee has submitted a detailed proposal [...]

European Citizens’ Initiative Grow Scientific Progress – Crops Matter2019-09-16T15:12:17+01:00

UFW Research Award for EPS PhD candidate Sumanth Mutte and former EPS postdoc Dr. Hirotaka Kato


Sumanth Mutte and Dr. Hirotaka Kato won the University Fund Wageningen (UFW) Research Award 2019, for their work published in eLife: “Origin and Evolution of the Nuclear Auxin Response System”. In this study, Sumanth and Hiro explored the transcriptomes of more than a thousand plant species, including basal land plants and algae, across 700 million years of evolution. They showed that auxin response components were evolved from individual pieces of older domains using customized bioinformatics approaches. They analyzed the evolutionary patterns in all the major components of the auxin pathway, followed by the experiments to test the complex responses controlled [...]

UFW Research Award for EPS PhD candidate Sumanth Mutte and former EPS postdoc Dr. Hirotaka Kato2019-09-05T15:12:02+01:00

Veni Grant for Charles Underwood


Charles Underwood (Wageningen U&R, Plant Breeding) received a 250,000 Euro Veni-grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for his proposal titled “Understanding the barriers of genetic exchange in hybrid plants”. Charles will investigate  how cultivated crops can be improved by hybridisation with related wild species. Hybrids between tomato and wild relatives are possible, but the exchange of genetic material between the two species is suppressed. This research aims to understand the barriers between plant species, and may lead to innovative breeding approaches. The complete list of VENI awards 2019: see website NWO  

Veni Grant for Charles Underwood2019-08-22T12:21:53+01:00

Veni Grant for Mark Sterken


Mark Sterken received a Veni-grant to investigate the interaction between plant-parastic nematodes and their host-plants. His proposal, “The host-parasite supergenome: an untapped source for disease resistances” was awarded 250,000 euro for the coming four years. Mark’s project aims to establish a new approach to study host-parasite interactions. Currently, plant breeders consider disease resistance as the product of a simple gene-for-gene interaction between host and parasite. This view results in using a critically narrow genetic basis for resistance breeding in current cultivars. The superorganism concept assumes a complex, gradual co-evolution of genetic networks to uncover new disease resistances. Mark will execute [...]

Veni Grant for Mark Sterken2019-08-22T13:05:34+01:00