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Project: Deciphering the ATR7 signalling network in Arabidopsis

Pallavi Agarwal, University of Potsdam

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This CropStrengthen PhD position came with unique opportunity to work in both academics and industry; giving us a rich exposure at an early stage of research career. This aspect makes it both- an enriching and a challenging journey. My project involves proteomics and genetics approaches to unravel the molecular network of a gene involved in conferring oxidative stress tolerance to Arabidopsis, hoping it to extrapolate to crops. Apart from passionately pursuing my research, I also like networking with people, dancing and swimming.

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Project: Crop improvement by modulating ATR7 levels

Lorena Romero Prada, Enza Zaden Research and Develoment B.V.

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As evolutionary biologist I have always been interested in the ability of plants (wild tomatoes and parasitic plants) to adapt to different stressors. The Cropstrengthen project gave me the opportunity to continue with my research but from an applied perspective. The main objective of this PhD is to generate crop lines (S. lycopersicum and L. sativa)  with enhanced tolerance to ROS stress, especially those lines that could be generated by modulating ATR7 levels (gene in A. thaliana responsible of ROS stress tolerance). I will apply forward and reverse genetic approaches to identify responsible gene/mutations conferring ROS tolerance in EMS lines. On the other hand, wild species related to S. lycoprsicum and L. sativa will also be examined to identify natural genetic variation that can contribute to enhance tolerance to ROS stress in crops.

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Project: Oxidative stress acclimation

ESR3 - Yawen Shen, University of Potsdam

I believe it is of great importance to apply research achievements into crop development, resistance to stress and so on. Therefore, I feel lucky to be appointed by this CropStrengthen project. The main objective of my PhD is to assess the potential priming role of bioactive compounds in inducing stress protection (especially oxidative stress). 

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Project: Enhancing abiotic and oxidative stress tolerance in Arabidopsis and vegetable crop species through biostimulants-induced molecular priming

Fiaz Rasul, BioAtlantis Ltd.

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Throughout their life span, plants have to face unfavourable environmental conditions including abiotic and biotic stress factors. Plants respond to these growth limiting factors by perceiving stress-related patterns or signals and subsequent activation of specific defence mechanism involving genes and regulatory elements. Will it be possible to induce defence-related physiological and cellular incitement state in a more robust and precise way? My research will be focused to answer this question by exploiting seaweed-derived natural priming substances, i.e. Biostimulants, and to unravel the molecular basis of defence priming in Arabidopsis and crop plants.

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Project: Computational modelling of the stress signalling network using transcriptome and metabolome datasets

Saurabh Gupta, University of Potsdam

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Working on a applied research project has always intrigued me. Cropstrengthen provides the platform for me to implement my skills to applied research and also to understand various aspects related to plant stress biology, which is very critical research topic especially considering the decreased crop yields worldwide.

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