Research group: Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
The group conducts research and teaching within horticultural science and biotechnology, spanning from basic and translational to applied plant science. Our research covers topics within genetics, production and ecophysiology of flowering plants, fruits and other important high value crops. Focus is on flower- and reproduction biology, fruit and berry physiology, quality improvement, postharvest and ethylene biology, chain management and processing of horticultural plants and selected crops with high value. Our work also integrates emerging technologies for optimal organic fruit production and processing.
Within plant genetics, we work on biological diversity and genetic resources usable for crop improvement. These activities comprise unravelling new genetic resources as well as usage of old gene pools, domestication of new plant genera and species or genetic modification using biotechnological methods.
Genetic modifications are conducted to improve quality and postharvest performance, thus enabling sustainable production. We have developed a platform for natural transformation, a non-GMO technology.
Additionally, we use molecular techniques to understand basic plant processes, regulation of plant secondary metabolism or elucidation of hormonal regulation and signaling pathways in plants. Genes are identified and characterized; here we focus on genes involved in ethylene perception and signaling due the importance to postharvest quality. Other genes of interest are related to regulators of plant secondary metabolites, here with the overall target to increase valuable compounds (e.g. consortium Biofactory).
Within translational plant science, the conducted research aims to transfer knowledge and discoveries gained from basic research to applied plant science building a bridge, and moving from model plants to crops. Translational plant science contributes to development of technologies or products, thus bringing cutting-edge findings into modern plant production.