Since their discovery, the plant hormones gibberellins (GAs) and their inhibitors have become a widely used tool to improve very diverse agronomical aspects, such as the size and productivity of grasses, horticultural species and ornamental plants. However, indiscriminate application of these compounds also provokes undesired secondary effects. For instance, GA application is used in agriculture to promote and synchronize fruit development, but it weakens the defense mechanisms against pests. Therefore, there is a serious need to find new GA-related biotechnological tools that specifically improve certain agronomical traits without the lateral effects. Based on the deep knowledge generated about GA signaling in the past 20 years with the help of our own lab, here we propose to (1) establish a method to generate plant varieties that specifically improve certain GA-related traits without the lateral effects; (2) search for compounds that specifically mimic certain aspects of GA signaling; and (3) in conjunction with a Spanish biotech company, provide a well-trained academic scientist with the capacities needed to develop a professional career within industry-oriented biotechnological research.
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