The IPB specializes in the characterization and manipulation of primary carbon metabolism in plants. The ultimate goal is to manipulate the relevant metabolic pathways to either improve yield and/or quality, or to produce novel, high-value products in plants. Some projects are aimed at the genetic manipulation of carbon partitioning within plant organs, such as sugarcane culms, grape berries and potato tubers.
The Institute's approach is to first get a better understanding of the control of carbohydrate metabolism in these important sink tissues and then to genetically manipulate apparent key enzymes to investigate the effect of these modifications on metabolic flux. In addition to the work on the partitioning of endogenous compounds, the Institute also focus on the improvement of these compounds and the introduction of completely new ones. As part of several international collaborative projects, the IPB has, for example, developed transgenic plants that produce novel, high-value products, i.e. neutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals or biopolymers for industrial application. The IPB also tries to understand plant growth in relation to abiotic stress factors with the aim of breeding or engineering plants that are more productive with less input.
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Find out more at the Institute for Plant Biotechnology (IPB) website