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Pollen-Pistil Interactions: Manipulating the Pectin Status

Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Dept.
Project Description: 


Our overall research centers on understanding how flowering plants achieve fertilization. Since fertilization produce seeds, which not only provide grains for food but also sustain continuity in production of future generations of crops. Failure in fertilization, e.g., often encountered during climatic extremes and disease epidemics, and sometimes man-made disasters, will devastate agricultural productivity and undermine food security.

The proposed work will be carried out primarily in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes many vegetable crops, such as cabbages. Knowledge from this study could be readily translatable to these crop species. Thus the research will benefit  vegetable crop agricultural output. Furthermore, the genes we study are also conserved in monocots, such as rice, the staple food for the majority world population. Thus, our research will also have broad appeals to vegetable and grain crop research and production community. We have maintained productive collaborations with two former postdocs, one now an expert in Brassica reproduction research the other in rice growth and development. We will continue to do so in the proposed project period. Together our efforts supported by this award will guide us to produce knowledge and genetic resources from a model plant species towards understanding how to safe-guard reproductive success. This knowledge and some of the gene-based resources will guide us, and others in the agricultural research and production community, to adopt either traditional genetic or transgenic approaches in protect food crop reproductive success in times of human- or nature-generated adverse conditions

Agriculture topics: 
Field Crops