Effect of far-red applied at different developmental stages on carbohydrate partitioning to dwarf tomato fruits

Vertical farms have had success producing fresh greens and herbs and now it is the time to transition to crops with higher value and more calorie-dense. A promising candidate crop -both scientifically and commercially- is dwarf tomato. Contrary to high-wire tomatoes, the dry weight allocated to fruits is low, which results in low yield and poor product quality. Far-red light is a promising agent to increase the fraction partitioned to fruits, however, because of the energy crisis, LED use should be as targeted as possible. Thus the question here is in which developmental stage of the crop, far-red light has the biggest effect on carbohydrate partitioning to fruits. Your task will be to carry out a series of experiments in which you apply far-red light at different developmental stages and you study the effect at cell and carbohydrate level. The thesis could focus on growth or molecular analysis based on your interest. I welcome your own suggestions and ideas that fit in this context, thus if this sounds interesting to you feel free to get in touch.

Used skills

  • Grow plants in a vertical farm system
  • Measurements of plant growth and development
  • Microscopy
  • Image analysis
  • Molecular lab techniques (RNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, qPCR) (optional)
  • HPLC
  • Data analysis

Interested in doing a BSc or MSc thesis at HPP? Please contact the HPP student coordinator Katharina Hanika.