#35 Louise: Facilitating greater harvest and good timing

How can GMO be used to increase yields?

Louise Petri is a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen. She studies plant development and how knowledge about the functioning of proteins can be applied to obtain beneficial traits.

Department & Group: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), PBIO

Supervisors: Fernando Geu-Flores and Stephan Wenkel

Dissertation Title (as for now 😉):

Investigating the role of microProteins in plant development

Tomato plants: How to create higher yields on the same area of land?

A microProtein contributes to the control of how many flowers a tomato plant produces, the architecture of these might therefore impact the yield. MicroProteins act by binding to bigger proteins and hereby preventing them from dimerising* and as a result inhibit their function. If those microproteins were stopped, reduced or slowed down, tomato plants would produce more flowers and fruit without it being detrimental to the plant.

*Dimerisation: the process of molecules joining together via bonds

Good timing: How to change flowering time in plants?

The protein FIONA has shown to be involved in the control of flowering time in Arabidopsis. A plant you have maybe seen during nature walks. By understanding what controls flowering in Arabidopsis that knowledge could be transferred to other plants to control their flowering time. That could for example be useful in the harvesting of alfalfa to overcome the so-called ‘cutting dilemma’. The cutting dilemma describes the trade-off between a lot of vegetation (late harvest) and the increased risk of the plants to start flowering, which is unfavorable for their later use as forage. By postponing the flowering, farmers could harvest greater yields. 

  • Start-up ideas and patenting (here a link to the programme (PATHWAYS) that Louise mentioned)
  • Why it’s okay to take detours
  • The pros and cons or GMO

Don’t forget the long-term perspective.

Louise’s publications:

FIONA1-mediated methylation of the 3’UTR of FLC affects FLC transcript levels and flowering in Arabidopsis

Louise’s funding

DFF-Research Project

If you would like to get in touch with Louise check LinkedIn

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