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Plant Phenotyping by Vibrational Spectroscopy of Pollen


Plant traits, in the form of observable morphological, biochemical and physiological features, relate directly to the functional and reproductive success of plants in their environments. For that reason, plant phenotyping is the cornerstone of botany and all plant related studies: from agronomy and forestry to ecology and global climate research. The project proposes to develop and standardise vibrational spectroscopy in combination with pattern recognition tools for pollen identification and biochemical characterization and to relate this phenotypic data to phylogenetic, biogeographical, and climate data. With this new method at hand a comparative study of several hundred plant species can be performed and the obtained data can be stored in a specially designed web-based spectral database. Exploring this unique spectral database with respect to biochemical variation among the range of species, climate and biogeography will lead to a novel understanding of the role of pollen in sexual reproduction of seed plants. The data will improve comprehension of plant-environment interactions, including long-term evolutionary adaptations as well as effects of short-term climate variations. The methodological advances and the established pollen spectral database will be further utilised in plant phenotyping, including studies of environmental and climate change. The proposed research will cover several hundred plant species, predominantly from the northern hemisphere, including the most important agricultural, forestry, floristry and allergenic plants.

Call for proposal

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Universitetstunet 3
1433 As
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 291 840,20
Administrative Contact
Achim Kohler (Prof.)