Plant sciences student Arjen van Zeijl of Wageningen University has won the Rijk Zwaan Plant Sciences Award 2010 for his research into strigolactones, a recently discovered type of plant hormone.
He investigated the workings of strigolactones, plant hormones which influence root and shoot branching in the small model plant Arabidopsis. Van Zeijl discovered that strigolactones interact with auxin, another plant hormone. This interaction determines the plant's architecture. His price-winning thesis is entitled: 'Regulation of auxin homeostasis by strigolactones in Arabidopsis'.
Van Zeijl is currently doing a second PhD subject with the university's Laboratory of Phytopathology. He will probably obtain his doctorate afterwards. 'The private sector can wait, I can get there anytime.'