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Brief explanation about scientific interest and choose of doctorate school program

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Dear selection committee of PhD programs

I am writing this letter to express my scientific interest and my selection preference of schools.  

My current scientific interest is applying plant phytoremidcation to the crop production due to gradually increased heavy metal contents in the arable soils.  I am particularly interested in heavy metal-contained compounds uptake and transportation and translocation pathways in the plants. My master thesis is phenotyping and genetic studies of rice in the response to different nitrogen sources. The main problem I wanted to solve is high N loss and its subsequent environmental hazards from agricultural sites of China. 

Nitrogen (N) is the most demanded nutrient for crops, and therefore high amount of chemical N fertilizers application practices have been the main features of crop production in China. But these added N led to a series of environmental problems such as air pollution by N gases, water eutrophication and high carbon loss from the arable soils. Therefore as an effective way to reduce the loss of N, retaining N in the cropping soils through application of organic matters is recommended. And application of organic materials with CN ratio of ca. 20 has been reported to enhance the level of retained N in the soils while slowly releasing N for supporting plant growth. When plant growths with such N application are compared, rice has been proved to be one of the cereal crops which grow with such N sources better than other crops. The objectives of this study were to elucidate the genotypic differences of rice in the growth with such organic N sources and to identify the QTLs related to the ability. Through experiments in greenhouse condition with three N application practices, I detected 2 QTLs which are relevant to rice organic N utilization capacities. Also by analyzing N compounds in soil solution, the loss of N from organic N applied soils has been proved to minimum which are similar to the N loss from no-N applied condition. However the growth and N uptake of certain rice genotypes still enhanced with organic N applied condition. This research told me the possibilities of reducing N loss from the agricultural fields through proper N fertilizer application. The most importantly, enhancing N uptake capacities of some rice genotypes with special shoot structure and compounds simulated me to go the field of shoot formation regulating factors and their usages in the phytoremidation. In addition to the special shoot structure, heavy metal uptake, translocation capacities of some rice genotypes also showed enhanced growth. And QTLs for organic N utilization capacities of rice overlapped with the QTLs and genes which are responsible for iron and phosphorous uptake from the soils, and shoot structures. These findings let me to do research on the topic of plant N uptake as heavy metal contained compounds and impact of shoot structure and formation on N and heavy metal uptake mechanism.

Therefore for my PhD study, I choose the school of biology and genetics. I am sure that my skills in plant anatomy and solid understanding of plant physiologies and good explanation of reactions in the plant body and soils through knowledge in biochemistry, microbiology and cell biology and genetics can gave me good learning atmosphere in this school. However the guidance I hopefully get from the professors and support and discussion from other collaborators in the lab are required. And it is also my main purpose of my application to the university.

I believe that through my continuous efforts for the completeness of projects and supports of the SAPENZIA University di Roma and my current university will assist me to completing my projects and will gave me a chance of being a skilled a researcher and a teacher.

Thank you very much for providing such promising learning and experiences exchanging opportunities for international applications including of myself.


Aierken Mireayi

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