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Thayna Mendanha

Member of Administrative Staff, Postdoc.

Thayna Mendanha


PhD project: Understanding of wheat genotypes with improved tolerance to increased climatic variability.

University: Aarhus University

Department: Department of Food Science - Plant, Food & Climate

Supervisors:  Carl-Otto Ottosen, PhD, Senior Scientist

Co-supervisor: Eva Rosenqvist, PhD, Associate Professor (KU) and Benita Hyldgaard, PhD, Research Assistant

Project supervisor: Carl-Otto Ottosen, PhD, Senior Scientist

Project term: 01-10-2015 – 30-09-2018

Master’s degree: MSc in Agronomy, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil



Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a major staple food crop and the one of the most important cereal grain crop of the world. Anticipated changes in climatic variability leading to more frequent extreme conditions will require directed adaptation of crop species on an unprecedented scale in order to sustain food security.

Improved crop varieties are needed to sustain the food supply to fight climate changes and meet the challenges for food production and security. Conventional breeding and selection for stress tolerance may be improved, if the integrated stress reactions of adaptation and acclimation are better understood.

Plant phenotyping has been identified as an important field of research for progress in plant breeding and basic plant science. Mechanistic understanding and deep phenotyping play a key role in identifying useful parameters and proxies to measure. This PhD-project will increase insight into the growth and quality responses of wheat to abiotic stress caused by climate change with a focus on repeated stress events and the interaction between heat, water deficits and light level with a focus of the effects of repeated stresses.



This project aims to improve the understanding of the adaptive physiological and morphological responses to selected combinations of abiotic stress, which will be an important tool for future crop production.


Research outline

Experiments with heat stress events; drought conditions will be conducted in climate chambers and greenhouses. The methods used will be gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence and part of the project will be to implement a low cost project platform using chlorophyll fluorescence, thermography and non-invasive 3D plant growth measurements (Planteye)

The outcome of this project is the establishment of a novel combination of screening methods that can be used to select general stress tolerance in different crop species, using high time resolution in combination with better understanding of effects of repeated stresses on the adaptive processes of wheat lines.


Partners of collaboration

CAPES – Ministry of Education, Brazil

Department of Food Science: Plant, Food & Climate – Aarhus University

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences: Section for Crop Sciences – University of Copenhagen

European Phenotyping Network

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