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Dr Charles Melnyk awarded Royal Society University Research Fellowship

last modified Sep 30, 2016 04:05 PM
Dr Charles Melnyk awarded Royal Society University Research Fellowship

A cross section through the infection site between a tomato plant and the parasitic plant Phtheirospermum. New vascular connections (in pink) form between host and parasitic to allow nutrients to be withdrawn.

We are pleased to announce that Dr Charles Melnyk has been awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. His research focuses on understanding how plants repair and connect their vasculature.  Unlike most animals, many plants can efficiently reattach and repair wounded or cut vascular strands even after complete severing. This mechanism works within a plant, but remarkably, cut plants can form vascular connections with different plants of the same species or even different species. The basis for how plants do this is largely unknown, yet it is a property that parasitic plants use to infect their hosts and that humans have exploited for thousands of years to graft plants such as fruit trees and grape vines. Charles' research hopes to provide fundamental information required to broaden the range of grafted plants and to defend crops against parasitic plants.

He will take up his fellowship at the John Innes Centre in Norwich in 2017.

From the Royal Society:
The University Research Fellowship scheme aims to provide outstanding early career scientists, who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen fields, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. The scheme is extremely competitive and URFs are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships, and many have gone on to enjoy significant national or international recognition for their work.

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