Beyond the genome: epigenetics of defense priming and climatic adaptation in plants
In this project we study epigenetic modifications involved in defenses priming against pests and pathogens and climatic adaptation in plants. These are novel research questions of great interest, both from a basic scientific perspective and from a climate change and crop protection perspective. Healthy, vigorous plants with flexible phenotypes that are well adapted to shifting environmental conditions provide better yield and more efficient carbon sequestration from the atmosphere, with less pesticide use. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the epigenetic machinery will help inform how epigenetics may be exploited in plant breeding and crop management practices.