ZS4 Development of a measurement system for the determination and quantification of VOC emissions from plants
Prof. Dr. Heiner Goldbach
Dr. Manfred Trimborn
Department of Plant Nutrition, INRES, University of Bonn [Homepage]
Stress reactions in plants lead to changes in primary and secondary metabolism. The changes incurred depend on the type of stress, its length and intensity, and often involve release of low molecular weight compounds including the signalling molecule ethylene and volatile carbon compounds (such as mono-, sesqui- and homoterpenes, Methyl salicylate and ethane as a result of reactive oxygen species (ROS) attack on cell membranes). This research project will examine to what extent volatile carbon compounds can be used as stress indicators. Measurement of these compounds must be adjusted according to the extent of stomatal opening and the gas exchange rate, as a closure of stomata (e.g. through drought or salt stress) can reduce the release of volatile substances from the apoplast.
Total VOCs will be measured and characterised, as well as the important components of the total VOCs, to determine whether changes in VOCs can indicated stress, as well as indicate the intensity of changes in stress reactions. Thus analysis of VOCs will help determine how much this parameter can be used to indicate the stress-status of plant(s).