We conduct research into the mechanisms underpinning plant responses to drought, salinity, nutrient limitation and pests/pathogens in order to inform the design of plants/crops that use resources (water, nutrients) more efficiently and to reduce reliance on unsustainable chemical pesticides.
Specific research approaches include:
- unravelling the physiological and molecular components of CAM, a water-conserving mode of photosynthesis with the aim of engineering CAM into food and bioenergy crops to expand agriculture into semi-arid, marginal land
- using functional genomics to identify stress response genes for molecular breeding of plants with enhanced resistance to insect pests/pathogens
- developing novel biopesticides to reduce reliance on unsustainable chemical pesticides.
Engineering crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) to improve plant water use efficiency
Project leaders: John Cushman (UNR), Anne Borland, James Hartwell (UL), Xiaohan Yang (ORNL)
The orchestration of starch degradation in CAM plants
Project leaders: Erin Casey, Anne Borland, Tahar Taybi, James Hartwell (UL)
Metabolic determinants of Crassulacean acid metabolism in tropical trees of the genus Clusia
Project leaders: Alastair Leverett, Anne Borland, Achim Treumann (Newcastle University Protein and Proteome Analysis)
The role of primary metabolism in stomatal regulation in CAM plants
Project leaders: Natalia Hurtado, Anne Borland, Jerry Barnes, James Hartwell (UL)