The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)

Three EPS members receive NWO-VIDI grants

Antony van der Ent (Wageningen University and Research), Marnix Medema ( Wageningen University and Research) and Daan Weits (Utrecht University) received 800 000 € to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group in the coming five years.

Van der Ent and researcher want to resolve and comprehend, the ecology, physiology, and molecular biology of selenium hyperaccumulation, as a recent adaptation of plants to a highly selective environment. This information may be used in the future to improve the selenium status in crops to ultimately address selenium deficiency in humans.

Medema and researcher will designing smart computer algorithms to identify genes of valuable compounds that are used by plants to defend themselves against pathogens and herbivores, and to recruit beneficial microorganisms. Researcher will study their relationships, in order to discover new biosynthetic pathways, link them to their metabolic products and analyse their evolution across plant species.

Weits and his research group will develop new biosensors that can detect low oxygen concentrations in plant tissue, and they will investigate if the oxygen concentration regulates the development of new leaves. This new knowledge can be used to increase plant growth or improve submergence tolerance of crops.

More information can be found here.