Project properties

Title The genetic base of plant functional traits
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) FEM group: Prof. Dr. K. (Koen) Kramer and Prof. Dr. L. (Lourens) Poorter
Examiner(s) Prof. Dr. G.M.J. Mohren
Contact info koen.kramer@wur.nl
Begin date 2018/01/01
End date
Description The potential of plant functional traits to adapt genetically to changes in environmental conditions strongly depends on genetic factors such as heritability, number of loci affecting the trait and number of alleles per locus, as well as their interactions. Preliminary analyses indicate that functional traits differ very much with respect to these genetic factors.

The aim of the study is to arrive at an overview of the genetic base of important plant functional traits and to assess the implications on genetic differences between traits.

The above mentioned genetic factors for functional traits increasingly become available in the scientific literature. Currently a database is available at Alterra that contains both genetic and matching plant trait data obtained from more than 100 references, both an trees and non-tree plant species. The approach is to further expand that database based on published data, thereby getting intricate insight in genetic data and methodology, and subsequently analyze trait differences considering their genetic make-up.

Thesis or internship
Best period: any moment
Combination: -
Co-operation: project can be done in a group of 2-3 students
Type of work: literature study, statistical analyses, (potentially: simulation modelling)

The topic is part of the research project FORGER : ‘Towards the Sustainable Management of Forest Genetic Resources in Europe’: www.fp7-forger.eu

Biodiversity and functional diversity/ Ecophysiology / Netherlands/ Temperate forest
Used skills Genetic terminology and methods to analyze genetic data (not molecular data). Literature search, data retrieval and database management. Statistical analyses and visualization of data
Requirements For MSc thesis:
FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I;

For BS thesis:
minimal 120 credits