Mineral nanoparticles arise through weathering of minerals at the seabed and life on earth has evolved in the constant presence of these particles. In our research, we use nature's own nanomaterials and investigate the role of mineral nanoparticles in the plant interaction chain with the aim of increasing the stress tolerance of arable crops.
With the world's growing population and the ongoing climate change, we constantly need to find new solutions for sustainable food production. How can we increase the farming areas by cultivating in areas with less attractive climate and weather conditions? How can we reduce the consequences of climate change such as temperature fluctuations, floods or droughts?
Enhanced stress tolerance with beneficial microorganisms
In our research, we work to increase stress tolerance in plants, and help them protect themselves against changes in weather and the environment. Plants interact with beneficial microorganisms in nature to increase their stress resistance. However, in some cases the plants need help to attract such microorganisms in order to cooperate with them quickly and efficiently.
When a river is flooded, the soil is supplied with large amounts of mineral nanoparticles. This is known to result in increased yields and improved stress tolerance in plants. With the help of modern analysis techniques, we examine the underlying chemical mechanisms. The aim of our research is to be able to influence the collaboration between plants and microorganisms in order to strengthen the stress tolerance of the plants.