Effects of environmental factors on plant composition.
Supervisor: Dr Kirsten Brandt
PhD Start Date: September 2009
Various environmental stresses such as high temperature are important factors impacting on the quantity and quality of plant foods. In addition to climate change in last few years which turn led to increasing environmental stresses.
This has become a global problem that threatens the human food sources, therefore the aim of this study to investigate the effects of high temperature and other environmental stresses on the concentrations of plant compounds such as nitrate, phenolic acids, chlorophyll and polyacetylenes.
Different varieties of carrots and lettuce will be grown under controlled climatic conditions in growth chambers, at different temperatures and controlled, light and water supply. Plant growth parameters such as absolute growth rate, root to shoot allometric coefficient and specific leaf area will be determined. Plants compounds such as nitrate, phonolic acids, leaf pigments and polyacetylenes will also be determined.
The work currently underway is testing of two models of plant trays and two types of growth chambers to select the best for the growth, also to determine how plants response to these conditions. The next step will be measuring of secondary metabolites by using chemical analysis techniques such as HPLC technique (high performance liquid chromatography).
The experiment will then continue depending on the results obtained, especially determination of the optimum temperature, to study of the impact of higher and lower temperatures as well as possible also other environmental stresses in this project. Finally, I hope through this work to be able to discover new insights about a major issue in our environment.
Why did you choose to study at Newcastle University?
Because I found high range in my school in Newcastle University, and what I heard about the wonders of the city.
What do you hope to do after finishing your degree?
I will go back to my country for work there.