Product Physiology

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Diurnal gas exchange: interaction between foliar and non‐foliar tissues

Fruit growth results from the balance between influx of water, nutrients and assimilates and losses due to fruit transpiration and respiration (Windt et al., 2009). Water influx in the fruits occurs in part through the xylem in competition with the rest of the plant ...


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Low temperature and low light intensity storage to increase shelf-life of butterhead lettuce

We have found before that quality deterioration of lettuce during postharvest storage is delayed by low temperature in combination with very low light levels (about 5 µmol m-2 s-1). This is likely caused by ongoing photosynthesis ...


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Stomatal malfunction in Chrysanthemum and/or Arabidopsis

Stomatal malfunction leads to increased water loss and reduces postharvest keeping quality in plant products. It is induced by growing plants at high relative humidity (RH) and is an intriguing scientific and practical problem in modern horticulture. To reduce energy us in ...


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Vase life of cut flowers

Cut flower quality is affected by a wide range of features, like flower number, size, shape, colour (patterns), fragrance, uniformity of blooming, leaf and stem colour, plant shape and developmental stage, and absence of pests and diseases. Postharvest performance involves preserving these specific features ...


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Strawberry quality and shelf life

We have projects to study the effect of preharvest conditions on postharvest quality, shelf life and flavour life. We have projects to study the link between strawberry colour, proanthocyanidins content and Botrytis incidence. We would like to identify genes and gene products that are involved with shelf life and ...


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Metabolic engineering of colour and scent

Petunia hybrida cv. V26 (left) and W115 (right) both make volatile benzenoid/phenylpropanoids. V26 also produces anthocyanins, but earlier in floral development (Verdonk et al., 2005). Volatiles and anthocyanins in petunia, are both phenylpropanoid pathway derived. Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase (PAL) is ...


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Marigold regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis

Tagetes erecta (Marigold or ‘Afrikaantje’ in Dutch) produces high levels of carotenoids. To exploit the health benefits of carotenoids (Lutein, Blue light filters for high screen time, etc.), breeding has generated elite lines that produce high lutein, zeaxanthin, etc. We research to ...


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Transcription factors and quality traits

MYB transcription factors are involved in the regulation of many quality related traits, such as the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids, anthocyanins, volatiles, but also cell shape, and stress resilience (Allan and Espley, 2018). We are interested in the MYB TF family of Petunia, because of many ...


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Stay Green Protein (SGR) in tomato and/or Petunia

During tomato ripening, chlorophyll breakdown and lycopene biosynthesis coincide and are regulated by a STAY GREEN PROTEIN (SGP). But not only colour, also firmness is regulated by this amazing protein family! This means that SGP are vital to tomato quality attributes such ...


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Mango projects

Mangoes hardly ripens on tree, but quickly ripens after harvest. We want to identify the 'tree factor' compound in e.g., the milky white sap from the harvest wound. Also, we want to investigate the effect of e.g., removing leaves from mango branches in a Spanish orchard. Study the production of mango volatiles ...


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Tomato quality: the effects of nutrient composition in combination with different light regimes

It is known that increasing the electro conductivity of the nutrient solution generally lead to more tasty fruit, however, disadvantages also shown as yield decreases and fruit disorders. High light level could also leads to better ...


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The role of russetting during moisture loss in 'Conference' pears

Russetting is a skin-feature present mainly in 'Conference' pears. It basically is a layer of cork cells that form in reaction to micro-cracks in the skin during rapid elongation of the pear fruit. While cork, in theory, is less permeable to water than a ...


Questions or other ideas for thesis topics? Please contact the HPP student coordinator Katharina Hanika.