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The long-term goal of our lab is to engineer seeds that
are adapted to the fast-changing climate of our planet.
Towards this end, we will be studying seed development
with a special emphasis on the endosperm. Endosperm
is often essential for seed development and provides
more than 60% of humanity's nutritional needs.
Unfortunately, endosperm development is sensitive to
environmental stress and climate change induced
extreme weather can decimate plant productivity.
To engineer resilient seeds, we need a better understanding of seed development. We will use genetic and genomic tools to identify genetic and epigenetic pathways regulating endosperm development in the model organism A. thaliana. However, seed development evolves rapidly and can sometimes vary between even closely related species. Therefore, to obtain a broader perspective into seed development and in order to translate our work into ecologically and environmentally important species, we will examine how and why the regulation of endosperm development changes between species. Using these perspectives, we will examine how endosperm development changes in response to climate change and engineer climate-change tolerant seeds.
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