News - April 3, 2008

Chromatograph subsidy

Plant scientist Harro Bouwmeester has received 280 thousand euros from the research funding body NWO. He will use this to buy extremely sensitive measuring equipment, capable of measuring low concentrations of signal substances in plants.

Bouwmeester received a Vici grant in 2006 for his research on parasitic plants such as Striga, a plant family that causes widespread damage in agriculture in Africa. Striga locates suitable host plants by picking up chemical signals exuded by plants to attract useful fungi. Bouwmeester intends to use the Triple Quad LC mass spectrometer to find the substances used as lures. The researcher expects that others will also make use of the new measuring method, for example for plant hormones and substances in sponges.