Barbara Ann Halkier

Plant specialized metabolism

As organic chemists par excellence, plants produce an amazing array of diverse metabolites and the unique natural products (also called specialized metabolites) are essential for plant fitness and survival. Our research focuses on plant specialized metabolites with the goal to gain understanding of pathway orchestration, transport processes from site of synthesis to storage and the role of specialized metabolites in the communication and interaction with other organisms in the surroundings. As model compounds we use the glucosinolates that function as defense compounds, signaling cues as well as nutritional factors. The gained knowledge is applied in pathway and transport engineering to increase plant disease resistance, remove anti-nutritional compounds in e.g. seed meal, and to promote human health.

Since 2012, Professor Barbara Ann Halkier is Head of DynaMo Center of Excellence. In DynaMo, we seek to understand the dynamics of molecular processes that enable a plant to coordinate growth and survival in the everchanging environment, using glucosinolates in Arabidopsis as model system.

Research topics

Student projects

The projects listed below are suggestions. You are welcome to contact Barbara Ann Halkier and discuss the possibilities of designing another project.