Research Areas

Biotic Interactions

The interactions between organisms are an integral part of any ecosystem and, in fact, no organism can exist in an ecosystem completely independently. Study of biotic interactions can provide insight into key agricultural phenomena and the methods useful for promoting plant growth while inhibiting negative external factors.

The following BTI laboratories study biotic interactions:

Cell Biology

Developmental and cell biology is an effort to understand important signaling molecules in the cell, the responses they trigger, and their effect on cellular development. Understanding these important aspects of cellular development allows for improved traits in staple agricultural crops.

The following BTI laboratories study developmental and cell biology:

Chemical Biology

Applying the principles of chemistry in the study and manipulation of biological systems is important as a means to discover essential biology and to create and observe new functions. As it relates to plant science, chemical biology is a method for understanding larger systems at the molecular level, and for developing useful tools.

The following BTI laboratories study chemical biology:

Enabling Technologies

Enabling technologies, or tools for biological discovery, are key to the success of plant science research. Databases, sequencing methods, and data analysis software are just a few of the useful aids designed to increase the efficiency of research techniques.

The following BTI laboratories work to develop and improve enabling technologies:

Ensuring Impact

A globe super-imposed over an apple hanging from a tree

Ensuring Impact is core to fulfilling the BTI mission of improving agriculture, human health, and the environment.  BTI faculty are working to understand mis- and disinformation that stymies science while proactively advancing science-informed communications and advocacy that will ensure a positive science enabling environment, including science-informed public policies and a science-literate public.

The following BTI laboratories work to develop strategies for ensuring impact:

Genomics and Systems

Moving away from the traditional reductionist perspective, systems biology engages a holistic approach in exploring the complex interactions within biological systems, while genomics explores the entirety of an organism’s hereditary information, looking to determine DNA sequences and understand the structural and functional aspects of genomes.

The following BTI laboratories study genomics and systems biology:

Stress Responses

Study of plants’ reactions to varied environmental conditions and stress factors is an essential asset to any agricultural plan. Understanding how plants react to limited or excessive water supply, sunlight, and nutrients leads to understanding of the most strategic growing practices. In anticipation of feeding burgeoning populations, study of environmental and stress responses in plants takes a step toward conserving resources while promoting high yield in crops.

The following BTI laboratories study environmental and stress responses:

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