Plant Physiology and Functional Genomics. My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms plants use to tolerate abiotic stresses in the soil environment, such as metal toxicity and nutrient deficiency. We currently have three overlapping research directions: (1) adaptation of plants to acidic soils, focusing on the primary growth-limiting factors aluminum toxicity and phosphate deficiency; (2) regulation of trace element, particularly cadmium, accumulation and transport in plants; and (3) functional characterization of P1B-type heavy-metal ATPase transporters in Brachypodium distachyon.
We use techniques of cell and molecular biology, comparative genomics, bioinformatics, and whole-plant physiology to study how model systems (Arabidopsis, Brachypodium, yeast) and agronomically important crops (wheat, canola, rice) respond to abiotic stress at the molecular, cellular, and whole-plant levels.
Current Research Projects
Characterization of P1B-type heavy-metal ATPase transporters in Brachypodium distachyon
Cloning genes responsible for low grain cadmium concentration in durum wheat
Transcriptional regulation of aluminum and phosphate stress-responsive genes in plants