Temporal Dynamics of Temperature Stress Responses
The general prediction from global climate change suggests that crop performance needs to be enhanced and protected to increase yield and avoid reduction in food production. The need for and development of crop varieties with improved tolerance to temperature extremes requires a thorough understanding of the regulatory mechanisms by which plants are able to respond and tolerate these conditions. An important regulatory network that enables organisms to synchronize their metabolism, physiology and development to predictable daily and seasonal environmental changes is the circadian clock. In the plant model Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis), both temperature and the clock controls many aspects plant growth and physiology.
My research goals are to understand the molecular basis of how the circadian clock enables plants to integrate external temperature signals and transmits information in response to extreme temperature changes. Our lab uses functional genomics, genetics, and a variety of genome-wide approaches.
Conservation of clock components and clock controlled behavior across plant species, suggests that these findings can be translated, and the targeted pathways manipulated to improve thermotolerance in agriculturally important crops.