We have a thesis topic available as part of our Academy of Finland project on the acclimation of stomatal opening responses to light. It is suitable for a M.Sc. thesis (Gradu) in Plant Biology with both ecological and physiological emphasis. The student’s work would be supervised by Pedro J. Aphalo, Kurt Fagerstedt, and Fang Wang. Thesis could be written either in English, Finnish, or even Swedish.
SenPEP stands for Sensory Photobiology and Ecophysiology of Plants. Our research group has been active for long, it was born in Suonenjoki in the early 1990’s, moved to Joensuu in 1995, again to Jyväskylä in 2001, and finally to Helsinki in 2006.
Our main research interest is the role of information acquisition by plants and the use of this information during acclimation and for the timing of developmental events. As informational signals are in many cases central to achieving fitness they also must have played and continue to play important roles in evolution.
Possible practical applications are vast, because by manipulating informational signals (e.g. light spectrum, or day length) one can control many plant responses: chemical composition (taste, colour, nutritional value), branching and plant form, timing of flowering, tolerance to physical stress, defenses against pests and diseases, shelf life, etc. Conversely, once the mechanisms of perception and response are understood, it will become easier to manipulate, through breeding, plant responses to informational signals.Continue reading