My research interest was always focused on plants, how they respond to external and internal stimuli and how plants can change and reprogram their development. My PhD thesis research was focused on understanding the mechanism of brassinosteroid signal transduction pathways and the process of reprogramming of somatic plat cells to a totipotent state. Since then I have always been interested in the regulation of plant developmental processes and I realize that I can transfer my experience and knowledge from a model species Arabidopsis to the model crop species Tomato, I joined the lab of prof. Gerco Angenent as a post-doctoral fellow. During my post-doctorate I obtained a NWO-VENI grant and we identified new important regulators of tomato fruit ripening, SlAP2a and FUL1/FUL2 transcription factors. Furthermore, I was the first to set up the protocol for degradome (PARE) analysis on a genome-wide scale in tomato and demonstrated that miRNAs are important regulators of tomato fruit development. In my second Post-doc project I was investigating the ability of glycosyltransferases to glycosylate different plant hormones and their function in plants as detoxifying components involved in plant development and defence. In my current ERA-NET SusCrop grant, Resilience to salinity in tomato I would like to understand how tomato plants respond to salinity and which gene regulatory networks regulate these responses at molecular and cellular level. In this project the role and importance of root architecture, in abiotic stress resilience and the interaction of plant roots with soil microbial communities and other organic biostimulants will be investigated. Novel developments in biostimulants show that it is possible to affect root functioning and resilience towards abiotic stress such as salt and drought. However, despite the potential for agriculture, there is very limited knowledge on the mechanisms through which biostimulants act. In this project the role of different biostimulants on tomato salinity resilience will be investigated.
CURRENT POSITION at PPH:
I started working as an Assistant Professor in the laboratory of Plant Physiology laboratory from 1st of April 2020.
Research focus: Stres resilience in Crops
- 2019, NWO ERA-NET SusCrop grant, Resilience to salinity in tomato. Co- applicant. Coordinator.
- 2019, WUR- Protein Transition Community Fund. 'The power of seaweeds as biostimulants', Co- applicant.
- 2019, PSG-WUR Strategic Fund. 'From the bottom to the top: Predict and Unravel the stability of synthetic microbial communities that can alleviate plat growth and yield upon abiotic stresses.'- Co-applicant