The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)

Two innovative research projects within the EPS community were approved for the Open Competition Domain Science-M programme

Dr. Charlotte Gommers (WUR) “A cry for green light sensing in plants” 
Plants use photoreceptors to see the spectral distribution of their light surroundings. This information is essential to optimize light capture and fuel photosynthesis. Although we are well familiar with the photoreceptors for red and blue light, it remains unknown how plants detect green light. In this project, we aim to discover the photoreceptor for green light, and investigate how green light sensing helps plants to optimize their growth.

Dr. Rashmi Sasidharan & prof. dr. Jian Xu (UU/RU) All for one and one for all: Mapping the site of ethylene action for root meristem hypoxia pre-adaptation”

The growing points of plants house a clump of cells (meristem), from which new plant organs can be generated. In stressful situations, meristem protection can ensure survival of the entire plant. Here we will investigate how the stress hormone ethylene acts across different cell types in the plant root to protect meristems against hypoxic conditions associated with flooding. Increased flooding events linked to climate change have severely compromised crop yields worldwide. Unravelling this meristem protection mechanism will offer a path towards enhancing flood resilience of intolerant crop species-an urgent goal in the current climate of unpredictable weather patterns.