The impact of nutrient homeostasis, the oxidative balance, the cell cycle and their interplay on cadmium-induced plant growth restriction. (Research)
Cadmium (Cd) is a major soil pollutant that reduces plant growth and hence crop yield, but also poses a risk to human health, mainly via accumulation into the food chain. As a consequence, Cd polluted soils are not used in an optimal way. The goal of this project is to gain knowledge on the processes contributing to this reduced plant growth, trying to find a way to reverse or compensate this. Three processes important for optimal plant growth are investigated: nutrient homeostasis, the oxidative balance and the cell cycle. Whereas each of these processes separately is affected in plants under Cd stress, I want to investigate how they interact and reduce plant growth during Cd exposure. In order to elucidate this interaction, I will expose wild-type plants and mutants defective in the regulation of the oxidative balance and the cell cycle to Cd and analyze their growth responses and nutrient homeostasis. In addition, supplementing the growth medium of the plants with copper and/or iron, two important nutrients, will reveal whether Cdinduced responses can be (partially) reversed, thereby improving plant growth and development. The latter is important in the search for plant-based strategies to enhance the quality of Cd-polluted soils.
Period of project
01 October 2018 - 30 September 2022