Professor Louise Trindade from Wageningen University studies how to optimize such crops, such as tomatoes, hemp and miscanthus.
"I see plants as the factory of ingredients such as proteins, sugars and oil. These components can be used to produce a variety of goods and products if there is sufficient public demand," she says.
Trindade stresses that in the leaves and stems of tomatoes contains large amount of fibers, so that tomato fibre suitable for the production of denim. But tomatoes, like cucumbers, are synthesized naturally and substances that protect these plants from phytopathogenic fungi. She wants to find out what is bioactive and can they be used as natural preservative or pesticide.
Hemp is another potential and very promising candidate for textile industry.
In collaboration with plant breeding team Trindade, with the assistance biotechnology has created three new varieties of hemp to obtain fibers. This hemp is already grown in Europe and shipped to China for processing into textiles.
"But we still have to develop, says Trindade. - Need to increase productivity, and the technology of production of fiber needs to be simplified. In addition, we simultaneously can get the oil from the hemp plant, for example, for salads, as well as cannabinoids for pharmaceutical use. These substances help against insomnia, various forms of cancer and you can adjust the appetite."
Currently, scientists are conducting an experiment with 125 different types of cannabis plants.
"We want to list the properties and their corresponding region of the genome, so we know what varieties we have to cross to choose this property," she said.
A research group under the leadership of Trindade also works with miscanthus, a species originating from East Asia, for the development of technologies for the production of miscanthus, paper, insulation materials and bioplastics the most important.
"We need to integrate various aspects of plant physiology, genetics, processing technology and consumer preferences, to provide cost-popular products based on biological innovative solutions," said Trindade.
Translated by service "Yandex.Translation"