Shining light on plants: how spectral quality affects the plant defense metabolome

Promovendus M (Mara) Meisenburg-Mildau MSc
Promotor prof.dr. CS (Christa) Testerink
Copromotor IF (Iris) Kappers
Externe copromotor Dr. A.R. (Sander) van der Krol
Organisatie Wageningen University, Laboratorium voor Plantenfysiologie

di 4 juni 2024 16:00 tot 17:30

Locatie Omnia, gebouwnummer 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0)317 - 484 500
Zaal/kamer Auditorium


Plants have no eyes yet they notice when they are in sunlight or shade. Light quality describes the wavelength distribution, ranging from UV to the far-red. Different wavelengths can be sensed by plants through various photoreceptors. Light quality can influence growth and defense pathways in plants.

In response to herbivory, plants adjust their defense metabolome which can either directly or indirectly deter attackers. Volatiles are emitted by plants to communicate with neighbours, aid in defense activation or call for assistance from natural enemies.

In this thesis, I looked how light quality changes the (non-)induced metabolome and defense memory in tomato plants. Generally, the metabolomes of control and additional red light treated plants are most alike, while the ones of additional blue and additional far-red light resemble each other. These results provide the first steps, but whether the altered defense potential can be classified better or worse is not yet possible.