Grant recipient

Birger Lindberg Møller

The Black Holes in the Plant Universe
Grant amount: DKK 9,439,227

We are currently moving rapidly into “The Plantroprocene Era” where fossil fuels must be replaced with bioproduction. Green photosynthetic organisms play a vital role in this transition as providers of both food, biomaterials and energy as well as essential medicines, nutraceuticals, condiments and colorants. These molecules are typically produced in very small amounts in the plants, making extraction difficult and harvest in nature unsustainable. However, some plant species like the vanilla orchid and sorghum possess an intriguing ability to produce and store some of these rare and sparingly soluble substances in liquid form at seemingly impossibly high concentrations in bio-condensates – “Black Holes”. This research initiative aims to elucidate the unknown mechanisms in the plant cell that orchestrate the establishment of such “Black Holes” and define new options for future plant-based production of high-value natural products. The knowledge gained will bring our understanding of molecular mechanisms determining plant plasticity to an entirely new level and guide development of crops with increased robustness to climate change.

Birger Lindberg Møller
DSc and Professor, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
University of Copenhagen