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- July 23, 2018
With background in fruit and vegetable genetics as well as in plant system biology, Ifigeneia’s role is to support breeding programs through the evaluation and utilisation of superior germplasm. Ifigeneia’s research focuses on vegetable breeding towards improved fruit quality, enhanced nutritional value (vitamins A, C, and other antioxidant compounds) and increased abiotic tolerance. To this end, Ifigeneia investigates the genetic and molecular control of antioxidant metabolism in leaves and fruits, and how this is coordinated with plant growth and performance under stress conditions. She is looking both at natural diversity of fruit quality and plant performance between different landraces as well as induced variation such as can be found in breeding programs. To achieve these goals, she employs both classical and molecular breeding techniques, as well as –omic approaches and physiology/biochemical aspects.
Dr Ifigeneia Mellidou holds a PhD in the field of Applied Biological Science from the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, University of Leuven, Belgium (2012). Through her PhD studies, under the supervision of Prof. Wannes Keulemans and Dr Mark Davey, she explored the genetic regulation of vitamin C metabolism in fruits (tomato and apple). She has worked as a postdoctoral researcher in numerous research projects in Greece (Groups of Prof K. Roubelakis, Prof I.-E. Constantinidou, Group of Prof A. Kanellis), and other countries such as Belgium (Prof B. Nicolai, Prof. Keulemans) and New Zealand (Dr Chagné). She also holds a patent at the UK Intellectual property office (GB1122298.1: ‘Molecular marker for ascorbic acid content in apple’, KULeuven).
Since November 2017, she is an independent researcher in Vegetable Breeding at the Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources, HAO (Thessaloniki, Greece).