Ionome of crop plants for safe and quality production

Type of project: national project

Duration: 2018 - 2021

Project leader: Prof. Dr Katarina Vogel-MikušCode: J7-9418Coworkers: Prof. Dr Iztok Arčon, Mitja Kelemen, Dr Marijan Nečemer, Prof. Dr Primož PeliconPartners: Jožef Stefan Institute, Biotechnical Faculty (University of Ljubljana), National Institute of ChemistryInfrastructure: MIC - Microanalytical Centre

The aim of the project is to combine studies of plant ionomics and metabolomics that will provide new insights into the mechanisms of uptake, transport, accumulation and bioavailability of selected minerals and potentially hazardous elements.

In DS1, we will focus on the ionomics and metabolomics of low phytic acid (lpa) mutants in beans and maize, with emphasis on Fe metabolism at the organ, tissue and cell level. The aim is to link the genetic expression of the putative Fe transporter and the transporter responsible for the transport of phytate into storage vacuoles with the spatial distribution of phytate and Fe and the speciation of Fe in lpa mutant seeds, which will lead to a better understanding of Fe transfer and Fe accumulation in relation to Fe bioavailability.

In DS2 we will address the effects of selenium biofortification of selected agricultural crops, determine the influence of Se on metal uptake, and exploit other systems of metals along the food chain using a system of micro- and mesocosm and snail (Arion spp.) as model bioindicator organisms.

Research will include a high-tech methodology based on X-ray fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy with synchrotron light to determine the distribution and ligand environment of Fe, Se and metals, and mass spectroscopy as MeV SIMS to map the distribution of organic compounds in tissue and cell samples.

more information (sicris)