ResearchMain research areas
Junior research group light physiology

Research in the Junior Research Group Light Physiology

Our research focus is the light-induced physiological responses, including photosynthesis, stomatal regulation, photo-acclimation and morphogenesis. We also study the interactions between light and other abiotic factors and decipher these interactions using mechanistic models. Our research activities combine the physiological understanding of plant, empirical experiments and virtual computational simulations.




How do plants optimize their photosynthetic nitrogen distribution in the canopy has not yet been understood satisfactorily although experimental and theoretical attempts have been made in the past three decades. We investigate the highly heterogeneous within-canopy light distribution and fluctuation, together with the temperature effects on the ontogenetic status, to explain which strategies and the mechanisms of photosynthetic acclimation of leaves lead to optimization of whole plant nitrogen use.


Yield stability is a highly relevant trait for cultivar choice by farmers. Stability of a cultivar can be defined as the ability of this cultivar, in comparison with other cultivars, to perform consistently well under different environmental conditions. Our knowledge about the genetic controls and eco-physiological mechanisms resulting in yield stability is still very limited. Recent studies imply that the canopy development during the vegetative phase of winter wheat is essential for yield stability. In this project, we are interested in the effects of carbon and nitrogen storages during the vegetative phase on yield stability.


Physiological functions of plants respond to environmental trigger at different scales. If the whole systems, from cellular to whole canopy, are not taken into account, conclusion derived from experiments at the whole-plant scale can be unreliable. Computer simulations (in silico) are powerful tools in modern plant science to obtain a systems understanding of the plant functions. We are interested in using computer models to explain and to predict the physiological phenomenon which are not straightforward for experimental biologist.