Growing quality

The research interests of the Growing Quality subgroup (dr. Julian Verdonk) are plant natural products (secondary metabolites) and the influence that preharvest conditions have on (postharvest) quality. Our research focusses also on how a plant regulates different biochemical routes during stages of plant development and during postharvest, especially in flowers and or fruits.

We study the genetic variation and the effect of environmental conditions on the biosynthesis of important quality related phytochemicals such as carotenoids, flavonoids, volatile benzenoid/phenylpropanoids, terpenes, as well as other phytochemicals.Our research investigates genes and gene products involved in enzyme organization and regulatory mechanisms of plant natural products, and use this knowledge to select plants with improved qualities: better resistance against pest, drought, or salinity, or with better post-harvest qualities: better seed set, fruit size or flavour, vase and/or shelf life.

  1. Using preharvest conditions to improve quality
  2. Regulation of secondary metabolites
  3. Postharvest physiology and quality

Our top 3 publications

Zepeda, B., and Verdonk, J.C. (2022). RNA Extraction from Plant Tissue with Homemade Acid Guanidinium Thiocyanate Phenol Chloroform (AGPC). Current Protocols 2 (link)

Schouten, R.E., van Dien, L., Shahin, A., Heimovaara, S., van Meeteren, U., and Verdonk, J.C. (2018). Combined preharvest and postharvest treatments affect rapid leaf wilting in Bouvardia cut flowers. Scientia Horticulturae 227, 75–78. (link)

Verdonk, J.C., Haring, M.A., van Tunen, A.J., and Schuurink, R.C. (2005). ODORANT1 Regulates Fragrance Biosynthesis in Petunia Flowers. Plant Cell 17, 1612–1624 (link)

Full list of publications: Research@WUR and Google Scholar