It is still unclear how plants can adapt to new, adverse environmental conditions. However, a large genetic diversity within a species can make rapid evolutionary adaptations possible. Sofia van Moorsel was awarded her FAN funding to study the naturally occurring genetic diversity of the common duckweed, Lemna minor using the latest sequencing methods. This small, fast-growing aquatic plant has great potential applications in biological pollutant removal and plant protein production. The goal is to better understand whether the common duckweed has the genetic requirements to adapt well and quickly. If so, it could be used for the remediation of heavily polluted waters or serve as a model organism for basic eco-evolutionary research.
Find out more about Sofia van Moorsel's research here
Read more about the FAN awards here