Department of Plant Biology

Investigating the Molecular Defense Tactics of Plants

April 11, 2018
In a study appearing in Cell Host & Microbe, UC Davis graduate student Neeraj Lal, Professors Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar and Andrew J Fisher and their colleagues reveal the versatility of plants’ molecular defenses. The findings provide a strategic map revealing how plants allocate resources and have the potential to help bolster crop immune systems and improve their development and growth.

Feeding the Future

UC Davis researchers are exploring the survival strategies of wild and parasitic plants to help cultivate the climate-resistant food crops of tomorrow by Greg Watry To meet a projected population of 9.8 billion by 2050, global food production needs to grow an estimated 70 percent. Rising patterns of extreme weather are challenging food security. To adapt and feed the world, we need stronger crops. A Shifting Environment

Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, wildfires are blazing and droughts are intensifying. Our earth is in an alarming state of flux.

Harnessing Plant Microbiomes to Promote Agricultural Growth

February 28, 2018
In a paper appearing in PLOS Biology, Joseph Edwards, ’17 Ph.D. in Plant Biology, Professor Venkatesan Sundaresan, Departments of Plant Biology and Plant Sciences and their colleagues tracked root microbiome shifts throughout the life-cycle of rice (Oryza sativa). The research could help inform the design of agricultural probiotics by introducing age-appropriate microbes that promote traits like nutrient efficiency, strong roots and increased growth rates in rice plants.