PPH news on tough plants, music and more
- November News -
We would like to share the developments of Plant Physiology within the last month, and there were quite a few. First of all we would like to congratulate our own Robert Hall with receiving the Nils Foss Excellence Price, which he got for his work in developing metabolomics to study the plant metabolome. A great achievement! We are also happy to announce that NWO granted our research proposal within a big research consortium to improve future lettuce production. We are joining forces with 11 academic research groups and 6 plant breeding companies, where our focus will be on studying lettuce growth in saline conditions. We also had a ‘moment of fame’ last month. Christa Testerink was on the Dutch national news and radio. A new initiative, the global commission on adaptation, tries to bring countries together to tackle problems arising from climate change. In response to this effort, Christa highlighted our research approaches on stress tolerance of plants. She explained how we can learn from resurrection plants, which are able to almost dry out completely during drought, but still stay alive and grow normally when they are watered again. Of course this work is very interesting regarding the current changes in climate.
As a group we also focus on different things than solely research. Plants and music seem two topics miles apart. Plants don’t seem to be able to hear or produce sounds. However, Sander van der Krol is bringing these two topics together in Bio Orchestra. As part of this project, there was an interactive installation in forum at the Wageningen University. With ‘genetic’ switches you could compose your own musical score. On another note, our PhD student Nikita Sajeev performed with her band Saffron Soul in the Impulse. They do not produce sound from plants, but they do make a very nice mix between popular songs and Indian music. And last but not least, Sinterklaas came a bit early to Radix and Christa was nice enough to bring our wishes to Sint. So what will we get? A lab-puppy? A helicopter platform? Or maybe a nice pipetting robot?