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East-West Seed awards prize for thesis on Solanum adaptability

On 30 November 2015, plant scientist Nina Alejandro Perez was awarded the East-West Seed thesis prize for Plant Sciences (5,000 euros) at the Royal Dutch Society for Sciences. Her fundamental research into the plant Solanum dulcamara provides insights into its extraordinary adaptability to environmental extremes.

Maaike Groot from East-West Seed awards the thesis prize to Nina Alejandro Perez. Photo: Hilde de Wolf

Solanum dulcamara is related to tomato and thrives everywhere in the Netherlands, both in humid grounds and in dryer areas such as the Dutch dunes. Nina studied the relevance of epigenetics for the plant's ability to adapt to habitat extremes. The results provide insights into the role of epigenetics in adaptation to flooding or drought. This fundamental knowledge can be valuable for development of new crops that are less sensitive to climate change or better able to adapt to habitat extremes.

Bert van der Feltz, CEO - East-West Seed: "I am very enthusiastic about Nina's research. Her findings are important in the development of new tropical vegetable varieties. Our breeders in Asia focus on continuous improvement of vegetable crops that are adapted to tropical weather conditions and local demand." 

Nina Alejandro Perez conducted her research as part of her Masters in Biology studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. 

East-West Seed awards this prize to generate attention for the Plant Sciences. Recently, interest in this degree has increased. That is good news for the international seed industry which is growing fast.

The Royal Dutch Society for Sciences (KHMW) formed the jury. This society judges many other scientific prizes. More information (Dutch):

For more information 
East-West Seed
Maaike Groot 
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