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Andrew Leakey's Laboratory


Integrative Plant Physiology, Genetics and Genomics

Our research broadly addresses the need to improve mechanistic understanding of:

  1. Plant responses in natural and agricultural ecosystems to global environmental change
  2. Adaptation of food and fuel crops to global environmental change, especially drought
  3. Sustainability of biofuel feedstocks

This will enhance understanding of how the environment impacts ecosystem goods and services and advance efforts to improve and protect crop production and water cycling. To do this we combine genetic, molecular, biochemical, physiological and ecological tools to assess plant performance in manipulative field experiments and controlled environment conditions.

The major focus of our group at present is to understand the genetic and physiological controls of stomatal patterning and photosynthetic water use efficiency (WUE) through a combination of molecular genetics, quantitative genetics, and physiology. This has practical application through our efforts to use biotechnology and breeding to enhance WUE through manipulation of stomatal patterning. The project will benefit substantially from significant advances made by our team and collaborators in recent years in: (1) high-throughput phenotyping of stomatal patterning and stomatal conductance, (2) development of transgenic germplasm and natural diversity collections, and (3) a new large-scale field facility for imposing drought treatments. 


Currently most of our research is done at:

Institute for Genomic Biology

Photo of a combine harvesting corn by the IGB



Photo of a crop field with the text: "SoyFACE crop responses and adaptation to climate change"


Our research Featured on National French TV Channel TF1

Plant Biologist Andrew Leakey featured on French television channel TF1 on the effects of climate change on crop health and yield.

French television channel TF1 reporting on the effects of climate change on crop health and yield.