ERC Advanced Grant award to George Coupland

September 27, 2013

George Coupland, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, was this month awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The grant is to isolate from perennial plants genes that control patterns of senescence or duration of flowering and to test their usefulness in crop plants. Unlike most model plant species, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, perennials survive flowering and live for many years. Dr Coupland’s research group has established Arabis alpina as a model perennial and made hybrids between A. alpina and its annual sister species Arabis montbretiana. Segregating populations made from these hybrids will be used to isolate genes conferring perennial traits associated with longevity and these will be used to identify similar variation in perennial Brassica crops. The grant award was announced by the ERC on 26th September 2013 and is for 2.4 million Euros over 5 years.    

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