The main objective of this project is to study possible cellular and molecular (genetic/epigenetic) changes underpinning the adaptive responses of plants exposed to low doses of gamma radiation in lab and field conditions. This objective will be realised by providing an answer to the following research questions:
(i) Do plants expose adaptive responses when exposed for many generations to low dose of gamma radiation making them more resistant/sensitive towards additional new exposures.
(ii) Are molecular (epi)genetic markers present that mechanistically underpin the adaptive response.
(iii) Does exposure to chronic low dose radiation lead to enhanced genetic variation and population dynamics.
To find an answer on these research questions we will use both reproductive and cloning plants with a different radiation history and study their possible adaptive response. In-depth genetic and epigenetic analysis of these plants will be performed in order to link changes in the (epi)genome to the adaptive response. We will use three different plant species within this project: (1) Arabidopsis thalina (WP1) (2) Lemna minor (WP2) (3) Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) (WP3) with different radiation background