Harro Bouwmeester

Titels Prof. dr. ir.
Initials H.J.
Main position Hoogleraar UvA
Disciplines Botany
Chair Plantenhormoonbiologie
Domain Natural Sciences and Engineering
Membership Member
Since 2019
Chair of Academy Ecology Fund
Member of Jury of the Ammodo Science Award (Natural Sciences)
Member of Natural Sciences and Engineering
Employed by Universiteit van Amsterdam
Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
Postbus 1210
1000 BE Amsterdam
tel.  020 525 6476
Personal website

Plant physiologist Harro Bouwmeester’s research focuses on how plants communicate with other organisms. He discovered that plant roots secrete strigolactone, a signalling agent that helps beneficial fungi find their way to their host plant. Parasitic plants use signalling agents in the same way, however, a discovery that has had important implications for agriculture. Bouwmeester is now studying how plant foes abuse signalling agents. He is using his knowledge of parasitic plants to help farmers in Africa combat the problems caused by Striga, a parasitic weed. Unusually, plants also use strigolactone as a hormone that regulates plant branching and root architecture. By combining several disciplines, Bouwmeester has succeeded in clarifying the biosynthetic pathways of this new class of plant hormone.