We study an extremophyte, Eutrema salsugineum, a plant closely related to Arabidopsis thaliana but one far more tolerant of extremes in temperature, water deficits, soil salinity, and nutrient deficiencies. We use comparative genomics, physiology, and biochemical approaches to identify traits that allow E. salsugineum to thrive under extreme environmental conditions. Our approach involves comparing plants collected in the challenging field conditions of its native habitat in the Yukon, Canada, with plants subjected to controlled stress treatments in growth cabinets. Identifying stress tolerance traits will enable us to improve our crop species and help us stabilize yields that are already adversely impacted by climate change.
Bioinformatics & Functional Genomics; Microbiology & Plant Biology