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Finished Projects

Common bean root system with steep basal roots that can tap deeper water

We propose to research two new root traits for drought tolerance, Basal Root Growth Angle (BRGA) plasticity in response to soil stress, and Basal Root Whorl Number (BRWN).

Project funded by NSF BREAD

An investigation into the utility of anatomical root traits for drought tolerance yielded novel insights in maize physiology and high-throughput phenotyping.

Maize plants exhibiting phosphorus stress

Development of the Ukulima Root Biology Center as a research platform for generation of new crop varieties and cropping systems adapted to the stressful soils of eastern and southern Africa.

The long-term goal of this project is to use genome-wide approaches to identify genes responsible for root system architecture (RSA) traits.

Common bean plants exhibiting water stress in a sandy soil

Recent developments in our understanding of root function will allow us to breed new bean varieties for drought prone areas with poor soil fertility.

We propose to employ recent discoveries in root biology to develop maize varieties with enhanced acquisition of soil resources by exploiting genetic variation for root traits that reduce the metabolic cost of soil exploration.

Much of the research of this lab has implications for the ecological understanding of plant competition mediated by roots.