PROJECT: Investigating the Impact of Cytokinins on Cell Wall Formation for Plant Biomass Production
Host Institution: CEITEC MASARYK UNIVERSITY Country of Origin: Czech Republic Previous Workplace: France
TOPIC OF MY RESEARCH:
I am very interested in the development of molecular tools for engineering of plant cells and bioenergy crops. The main goal of the SoMoPro project is to investigate an unexplored role of plant hormones cytokinins in the regulation of cell wall composition and structure during cell differentiation.
WHY I HAVE CHOSEN THE TOPIC:
This hypothesis is very exciting because it promises to uncover fundamentally novel regulatory mechanisms controlling plant development. Suitable application of the knowledge would enhance targeted crop production as well as input for advanced green biotechnologies.
USE OF THE PROJECT RESULTS IN PRACTICE:
Plant cell walls are the primary source of cellulose and lignin, the most abundant biopolymers on Earth that are already exploited in diverse human activities including fibres, textiles, paper and building materials. They have also high application potential as a source of sustainable and renewable energy for the future. Lignocellulose-based biomaterials can be used for the production of valuable chemicals and second-generation biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels. There is a growing interest in the subject of biofuels and generating “superwood” with enhanced quality. Although our project is mainly in basic research the major challenges of sustainable energy and food production require novel approaches combining expertise in biotechnology, molecular genetics and breeding to gain complete understanding of signalling pathways and their interactions that regulate growth and development of plants.
The SoMoPro fellowship gives me an outstanding opportunity not only to return to my home country but also to plant research, that I am the most passionate about, and a clear research focus for the future. I would like to share ideas, scientific knowledge and expertise that I have gained during my extensive stay abroad as well as engage in discussions with the public about the need to develop sustainable agricultural practices for biofuel and food production. The multidisciplinary aspects of the project provide me with unique opportunities to benefit from the intellectual and technology environment at CEITEC that offers outstanding research facilities, state-of-the-art laboratories and growth facilities. Overall, participating in the project will help me to obtain specialized training and provide me with good experience in managerial, leadership and pedagogic skills that are necessary for gaining independence and creating my own research group.