Project

Molecular and physiological changes in Ricinus communis seeds and seedlings in response to a changing environment

We will employ a multi-“omics” approach as a powerful tool for understanding the relationship between physiological and biochemical events related to germination and seedling establishment in Ricinus communis (Castorbean) under varying environmental conditions.

Researchers:

Henk Hilhorst, Wilco Ligterink, Paulo Ribeiro de Jesus

Abstract:

Ricinus communis L. (Castorbean) is a member of Euphorbiaceae, widespread throughout tropical, sub-tropical and warm temperate regions. It possesses a highly adaptive tolerance to most diverse climates including high temperature and drought conditions. India, Brazil, and China are the major oil crop producers in the world and recently R. communis for biodiesel production has received wide attention in Brazil. A high level of seed germination and seedling establishment is crucial for an efficient crop establishement. We want to elucidate the molecular processes involved in optimal seed germination and seedling establishment under different environmental conditions. Therefor we propose to adopt a multi-“omics” approach as a powerful tool for understanding the relationship between physiological and biochemical events related to germination and seedling establishment in R. communis under varying environmental conditions. Metabolite and transcriptome profiling will be performed to determine metabolic and transcription changes during germination and seedling establishment at different temperatures and these will be linked with phenotypic information. reliminary results revealed that carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism in R. communis seeds and seedlings are remarkably affected by temperature.