Crop Biology

Tomato leaf up close

How do crops respond to environmental change, from genetic to ecophysiological scales of integration?

Conforming with SF3’s desire to develop crop sustainability and resiliency-related research, the Crop Biology & Resilience stream utilizes Natural Sciences in order to examine how crops’ agricultural environments influence yield, quality, propagation, and production. Specifically, this cluster's work focuses on a family of cell surface receptors that control plant growth and immunity. We study the molecular functions of these receptors, when and why each is expressed, and how they interact to control these processes. Our most recent work has shown how expression is controlled by non-coding RNA molecules, providing a new method of controlling receptor function. A fuller understanding of these receptors will allow us to create highly disease-resistant plants without losing plant productivity.