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Plant Molecular and Physiological Responses to a Changing Climate

     

Rising population size, changes in land-use, introduction of novel and invasive pests and diseases, and global changes in climate and atmospheric composition pose significant challenges to maintaining and improving future agricultural production and global food supply. Two global changes that directly affect crop productivity are rising carbon dioxide and rising tropospheric ozone concentration. While elevated carbon dioxide stimulates photosynthesis and productivity of crops, rising tropospheric ozone negatively impacts photosynthesis and subsequent growth and production. The focus of my research is to understand and integrate the molecular, biochemical, physiological and genetic responses of plants to global change. This fundamental understanding is critical for identifying targets for breeding and biotechnology that may be exploited to maximize crop yields and plant productivity in the coming decades. Research in my lab seeks to understand and address crop responses to global climate change by using meta-analyses to quantify the responses of plants to climate change factors, developing high-throughput tools for investigating molecular and biochemical responses of plants to climate change, and identifying intraspecific variation in the response of species to climate change.