Plan(t)s for the future:

From mustard seeds to broccoli

9 October 2018

Byens Lys

Barbara Ann Halkier

Professor, Head of DynaMo Center of Excellence, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Her research is focus on the molecular processes that enable a plant to coordinate growth and survival in the everchanging environment. She is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and letters since 2014. She received the Innovation Award and Danisco Food Prize and was also considered the Best Danish Research Result by in 2012.

Niclas Knudsen Trio

Reinterpretations of Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Jimmy Reed will be stirred together with Nordic tones, afrobeat and Indian Ragas in a large pan to cook up the sounds of new, indeterminate and engaging music! Homepage

Eat your vegetables boys and girls! Why are plants amazing organisms? What are the health benefits of broccoli and red cabbage? How do plants interact with their surroundings? Is mustard the new robust oilseed crop? Why has mustard more potential as future crop than oilseed rape? What can agrobiotechnology do for us?

In this episode of Science & Cocktails, ladies and gentlemen, you will learn why it is important to eat your vegetables. The right ones. Barbara Ann Halkier is focused on applications of cellular and organismal biology to improve human nutrition and to increase disease resistance of crops.

Plants are remarkable chemists and are able to synthesize a dazzling range of natural products. These natural products constitute the language of plants and enable plants to interact with the surroundings, for example by attracting pollinating insects and to fend off attackers.

Toxic defense compounds represent a common and ancient problem in agriculture as they often accumulate in edible parts of crops and thereby severely reduce its nutritional value. Barbara Ann Halkier will present her research and how she managed to successfully reduce the content of toxic defense compounds in seeds of mustard, which is closely related to oilseed rape.

You should already now be curious about mustard seeds, shouldn’t you? This evening, you’ll hear why mustard seeds are much more resistance to heat, drought and diseases than oilseed rape oilseed rape. Despite mustard plant being an obvious candidate to replace oilseed rape, it might not be the best substitute due to its very high content of bitter defense compounds. In her lab, Barbara Ann Halkier has invented a technology that can keep the bitterness out of the seeds while maintaining them in the rest of the plant so that the plant can defend itself against herbivores and pathogens.

A new mustard crop with mustard-free seeds will enable cultivation in areas that today is not suitable for oilseed crops. Other compounds from the same group of natural products are associated with the health-promoting effects of intake of e.g. broccoli and red cabbage. The evidence for the health benefits of commonly known as health-promoting plants, such as broccoli and red cabbage are good to know about, at least if you ever want to raise some healthy children or dogs.

Afterwards, away with cabbage and intake of cooled down cocktails, while Niclas Knudsen Trio takes the stage. With roots-based repetoire of old gospel, folk and blues in the luggage, this trio takes its audience on a journey across the continents.

Entrance to the event is free. Event held in English. No registration is necessary. Doors open at 19:00. CASH ONLY.