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Horticulture and Natural Resources

Environmental Stress & Molecular Biology

Our research focus and efforts have been to understand plant adaptations, tolerance and mechanisms of injury in relation to various environmental stresses including low temperatures, high temperatures, water deficit and hypoxia, and to develop methods and strategies to improve plant tolerance in many horticultural crops especially in food crops and turfgrasses. Wide ranging approaches are being used to accomplish these goals, including those that aim at the molecular, cellular and whole plant level.

Other areas of research involve beneficial aspects of environmental stresses. In response to various stresses, plants accumulate health-promoting antioxidants and secondary metabolites (phytochemicals) as a defense mechanism. Studies are being conducted to develop strategies to use environmental stresses and biotechnology tools to augment health-promoting phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables.

Check out the research focus of our faculty members listed to the right.

Recent Publications

Recent Publications of our Environmental Stress and Molecular Biology Faculty and Graduate Students

R. Poudel, A. Jumpponen, M Kennelly, C. Rivard, L. Gomez-Montano, and K. Garrett. 2018. Rootstocks shape the rhizobiome: Rhizosphere and endosphere bacterial communities in the grafted tomato system. Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology85(2): 1-19

Y. Hu, Q. Wu, Z. Peng, S.A. Sprague, W. Wang, J. Park, E. Akhunov, K.S.V. Jagadish, P. Nakata, N. Cheng, K.D. Hirschi, F.F. White, and S.H. Park (2017) Silencing of OsGRXS17 in rice improves drought stress tolerance by modulating ROS accumulation and stomatal closure. Scientific Reports. 7: 15950

Q. Wu, Y. Hu, S.A. Sprague, T. Kakeshpour, J. Park, P. Nakata, N. Cheng, K.D. Hirschi, F.F. White, and S.H. Park (2017) Expression of a monothiol glutaredoxin, AtGRXS17, in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) enhances drought tolerance. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 491: 1034-1039

H. Yu, J. Yang, Y. Shi, J. Donelson, S.M. Thompson, S.A. Sprague*, T. Roshan, D. Wang, J. Liu, S.H. Park, P.A. Nakata, E.L. Connolly, K.D. Hirschi, M.A. Grusak, and N. Cheng (2017) Arabidopsis Glutaredoxin S17 Contributes to Vegetative Growth, Mineral Accumulation, and Redox Balance during Iron Deficiency. Frontiers in Plant Science. 8: 1024

Q. Wu, J. Yang, N. Cheng, K.D. Hirschi, F.F. White, and S.H. Park (2017) Glutaredoxins in plant development, abiotic stress response, and iron homeostasis: From model organisms to crops. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 139: 91-98

Q. Wu, S.H. Park, M.B. Kirkham, and K.A. Williams (2017) Transcriptome analysis reveals potential mechanisms for inhibition of intumescence development by UV radiation in tomato. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 134: 130-140

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Jack Fry
Environmental stresses and turfgrass

Sunghun Park
Environmental stresses, cell physiology, and plant biotechnology

Channa Rajashekar
Environmental stresses and molecular biology

Cary Rivard
Production systems and phytochemicals

For more information on our graduate program...