Website Wageningen University & Research

Together with a consortium of an inter-disciplinary team of researchers and companies, we are starting a large research programme of 17 PhDs/Postdocs entitled ‘Sky High: Vertical farming, a revolution in plant production’.
Are you that enthusiastic researcher that likes to work on the physiology of plants grown under fully controlled conditions?
Vertical farming is a novel technology where plants are grown on many stacked layers with LED light. It is a secure and sustainable route to provide cities with fresh food. This program targets a revolution in the production of fresh vegetables. The ambition is a secure and sustainable vegetable supply: no pesticides, no nutrient emission, only 2-4 litres water per kg produce, at least twentyfold less land use, lower food mileage, less waste and lower energy use per kg produce compared to greenhouses. These vegetables have a greatly improved quality (taste, aroma, appearance, shelf life, nutritional value, safety) compared to conventionally produced vegetables. The Sky High programme will develop concepts for design and control of vertical farms that meet all mentioned targets on sustainability, yield, and quality, based on a fundamental understanding of the different components of vertical farming.
To realise these targets a fundamental understanding of the different components of vertical farming is needed. The efficiency of light and energy use is strongly affected by the photoperiod and the duration of the diel (24 hour; diurnal and nocturnal) cycle. The aim off the here announced PhD project is to study the molecular pathways that are associated with growth of lettuce plants to different photoperiods in interaction with total daily light integral and light intensity when the total cycle is 24 hours or under deviations in duration of the total diel cycle. In addition the aim is to study whether there exists genetic variation for both the length of the circadian cycle between genotypes and how this affects the growth and development of plants under these varying conditions.

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