Inducing anthocyanin production by rootzone cooling and supplementing far red light

Anthocyanins are useful antioxidants for plants and humans. Plants produce these red or purple compounds in response to environmental stresses, such as high light intensities or cold temperatures. One hormone that is involved in stress signalling and can induce anthocyanin production is ABA. In this project we want to see if cold stress in the rootzone can trigger ABA production and transport to the shoot, which then leads to anthocyanin formation in the shoot. In other words: Does lettuce turn more purple when we stress the roots? And what are the underlying signalling pathways? In addition to that we want to see if we can further boost biomass and production of anthocyanins and other flavonoids by adding far red light to the spectrum.
We welcome your own initiative, so if you have your own ideas what could be interesting to look at in this context, feel free to get in touch!

Used skills

  • Measuring plant growth and physiological parameters
  • Understanding of biochemical and metabolic processes in the plant
  • Measuring plant hormones
  • Measuring plant metabolites
  • Potentially gene expression 

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