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Identification of key plant traits and mechanisms contributing to lettuce growth under organic cultivation

Main subject area: Plant physiology, plant growth, nitrogen-use efficiency, organic farming

Short project description

We know that under organic cultivation, soluble organic (e.g., amino acid [AA]) nitrogen forms play an important role in plant N nutrition. However, the effects of different AA on plant growth and the presence of significant differences between genotypes in uptake and utilization of AA are poorly investigated. We hypothesize that the cultivation of plants that can take up AA more efficiently will revolutionize organic crop production. Moreover, the cultivation of plants that can efficiently absorb AAs will reduce the conversion of soil AAs into inorganic N, thereby reducing N release into the environment. You perform experiments under control conditions with the aim of obtaining a mechanistic understanding of the plant adaptation to organic nitrogen supply. You will work with contrasting lettuce accessions and related wild species.  In this study, various analytical and molecular approaches (e.g., metabolite and gene expression analysis) will be used to gain insight into the physiological mechanisms underlying plant response to different forms of organic N.

Department and supervisor

Project start

Any time

Physical location of project and students work

Department of Food Science, Agro Food Park 48, 8200 Aarhus N

Extent and type of project

45 or 60 ECTS: Experimental theses in which the student is responsible for collection and analysis of his/her own original data

Additional information

Ichihaslie et al (2020) Multi-omics analysis on an agroecosystem reveals the significant role of organic nitrogen to increase agricultural crop yield. PNAS. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1917259117.

Khan, S. et al. (2019) Exogenous Application of Amino Acids Improves the Growth and Yield of Lettuce by Enhancing Photosynthetic Assimilation and Nutrient Availability. Agronomy. 9. 266. 10.3390/agronomy9050266