The long-term goal of our lab is to engineer seeds adapted to our planet’s fast changing climate.
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 on 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. We will use these perspectives to examine how endosperm development changes in response to climate change and engineer climate-change tolerant seeds