Crops are experiencing stress as they grow under suboptimal conditions or exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions. This stress is associated with poor seed germination, poor growth and reduced seed set. In short: a reduced yield.
Due to climate change and the increasing pressure to use marginal lands for food crops it is necessary to adapt to extreme environmental conditions. To better adapted crop varieties it is needed to provide more knowledge about the genes involved in stress response genes and which can be used to improve crops.
This project aims to unravel the (epi) genetic component of stress resistance / sensitivity. The emphasis is on a special class of proteins that play a role in the epigenetic control of gene expression. These so-called chormatin remodeling factors appear to play a role in stress responses in plants, including formation of seeds and their germination.
This project provides genes and concepts in order to breed crops that are more resistant to stress conditions and adapted to local and changing climatic conditions. This adaptation of crops must have an effect on increased seed production of the desired quality.