Fotograaf: Koevoets

mw. I.T. (Iko) Koevoets MSc

  • Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica
  • Bezoekadres
    Science Park A
    Science Park 904  Amsterdam
    Kamernummer: C2.207
  • Postadres:
    Postbus  94215
    1090 GE  Amsterdam
    T: 0205258438
    T: 0628305317

Dealing with the weakest link: altered lateral root development during salt stress

During my BSc in biology I have always had an interest in both ecology and molecular biology of plants. Soon I found myself happily doing a research project at the Plant eco-physiology group in Utrecht, where I could study the physiological and molecular backgrounds of ecological processes in plants. I have a main interest in the plasticity of plants, enabling them to adapt to a wide range of biotic and abiotic circumstances. For a long time the root system has got very little attention in research on plants adapting to abiotic stress. I really enjoy contributing to increasing this knowledge with my project in the group of Christa Testerink, where I study how plants adapt (lateral) root development to salt stress. Because lateral roots are specialized in water and nutrient uptake, they might also be the place where most sodium is taken up. Because excessive sodium uptake is toxic to the plant, we hypothesize that adapting lateral root development can be favourable for salt tolerance. Previous research of Magdalena Julkowska showed that the root systems of  Arabidopsis accessions develops differently and that this is related to the salt tolerance of the accessions. I will continue on this project by investigating what the functionality is of the difference in development and how this is regulated by the plant. Two auxin biosynthesis genes, which are picked up in Magdalena’s study, will be central in this project. For me, this project has the potential to connect the underlying genetics of a physiological process with its function. Eventually, this knowledge will lead to targets for improving crop tolerance to salt stress.

Oct 2015 - current                  

PhD student, University of Amsterdam
Plant physiology (Supervisor: Christa Testerink)

Sep 2013 - Jul 2015          

MSc Environmental Biology, Universiteit Utrecht
Specialisation: Plant Biology
Graduated,  Cum Laude

Major internship                  
"Elongation patterns in a shade tolerant and shade intolerant  Geranium species"
Ecophysiology of plants, Universiteit Utrecht (supervisor: Lot Gommers)

Minor internship                  
"Observing root development during the floral transition in maize"   
Plant Physiology, University of Liège (supervisor: Guillaume Lobet)

Sep 2009 - Jun 2013            

BSc Biology, Universiteit Utrecht
Specialisation: Plant Biology
Graduated,  Cum Laude


Koevoets, I. T., Venema, J. H., Elzenga, J. T. M., and Testerink, C. (2016). Roots Withstanding their Environment: Exploiting Root System Architecture Responses to Abiotic Stress to Improve Crop Tolerance. Front. Plant Sci. 7, 1335. doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.01335.

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