QUALITY Plant Quality and Food Security
Head of PA QUALITY: Prof Dr Monika Schreiner
The overall aim of the Programme Area “Plant quality and food security” (QUALITY) is to generate interdisciplinary knowledge grounded in life sciences and social sciences to strengthen sustainability, human nutrition as well as nutritional food security for all. We do so in a unique way by focusing on the genotypic diversity and targeted influencing of plant secondary metabolites (PSM) through the alteration of physiological processes in planta. We outline the bio-functionality of selected plant metabolites in plant-environment interaction and in human nutrition by establishing a state-of-the-art analytical platform. In addition, we analyze the effects of vegetable production and consumption on food and nutritional security and livelihoods, including in both developed and developing countries. In doing so, our research contributes to multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) along the plant value chain from life on land (SDG 15), sufficient and responsible production and consumption (SDG 12) to zero hunger (SDG 2) and good health (SDG 3), which in turn contribute to poverty reduction (SDG 1) and more gender and economic equality (SDGs 5 and 10).
We are focusing our core research on the three priority themes horticultural diversity, malnutrition related to chronic diseases, and targeted induction – and hence contribute to the mission of IGZ to understand fundamental aspects of horticultural, environmental and plant science, to enhance sustainability in production and use of plants, and to improve healthy nutrition and well-being of consumers.
The Programme Area QUALITY is organized in three Research Groups (RG): QUALITY.1 “Plant quality for human consumption”, QUALITY.2 “Food chemistry and human nutrition”, and QUALITY.3 “Economic development and food security”. In addition RG QUALITY.1 includes two junior research groups: QUALITY.1.1 “Detection, biosynthesis and function of flavonoids” and QUALITY.1.2 “OptiGluP – Optimization of Glucosinolate Degradation Pathways” (Leibniz funding programme “Leibniz- Best Minds: Leibniz Junior Research Groups”).
QUALITY.1 Plant quality for human consumption
QUALITY.2 Food chemistry and human nutrition
Given the current promotion of more plant-based, nutrient-rich diets, se-condary plant metabolites will draw increased attention. Carotenoids – a certain group of secondary plant metabolites – have been associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases, i.e. degenerative eye diseases....