Xin He

Candidature

PhD Candidate

Thesis title

Physiological and molecular insight into fruit development and quality of Capsicum annuum L. under Smart Glass and CO2 Treatments

Research Project

Under global climate change, production in controlled environments will promote sustainable agriculture, contribute to food security and elevate nutritional quality, but energy costs are high. Advanced covering materials such as Smart Glass (SG) were designed to reduce energy costs, but the impact on light quantity and quality on production and nutritional values of greenhouse horticultural crops are still unknown. In addition, elevated CO2 (eCO2) is conventional way to promote crop productivity, and both light and CO2 influence crop quality. Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is an economically important vegetable of high nutritional value, but fruit quality and nutrition are sensitive to environmental factors, subsequently impacting the shelf life and commercial value.

My research objectives are to investigate the effects of SG and eCO2 on: (1) fruit yield, and external quality such as firmness and texture, on shelf life. (2) Light receptors and key nutritional biosynthesis gene expression during fruit development, including pectin structure and metabolic enzyme activity; (3) Identify impact of epidermal thickness on water loss and fruit firmness, antioxidant compounds, and cell wall degradation enzymes on shelf life; and (4) Transcriptome and proteome regulation of capsicum fruit maturation and quality.

Publication

Li X, He X, Smith R, Choat B, Tissue D, (2020) 'Temperature alters the response of hydraulic architecture to CO2 in cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum)', Environmental and Experimental Botany, vol.172, Article no.104004

Supervisors

Professor David Tissue, Professor Zhong-hua Chen, A/Professor Oula Ghannoum and Dr Christopher Cazzonelli