Personal tools
You are here: Home Research Trends & Opportunities New Agriculture and ICT Convergence Integrative Plant Science

Integrative Plant Science Research

Cornell University_060120A
[Cornell University]

- Overview

Without plants, life on earth would not exist. Plants shape our environment, providing us with food, medicine, clothing and shelter. Today, we face an unprecedented set of challenges - global climate change, food shortages, rapid loss of biodiversity and new and evolving diseases are threatening the health of the planet and the health and well-being of people. Plant science research is important in addressing all aspects of these questions.


- Integrative Plant Science

In the coming decades, the world must find solutions to major challenges, including feeding a growing population, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and protecting biodiversity and essential ecosystem functions. Plants are the foundation of all agricultural and natural ecosystems, and environmental impacts on plant systems will cascade locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. But plants will also be the foundation of the solution. Innovative approaches and revolutionary breakthroughs in plant science will be used to address these challenges and help ensure a sustainable future for future generations.

The field of study in integrative plant science combines genetic information with plant physiology/biochemistry, plant pathology, entomology, conservation biology, international agriculture and related fields to create crops that meet the needs of modern society.


- Gene Editing Technology and GM Technology

A decade ago, scientists in Germany and the United States discovered a technique that would allow them to "cut" DNA strands and edit genes. For agricultural scientists, this process allows them to bring about desired changes in the genome through the use of site-directed nucleases (SDNs) or sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs). A nuclease is an enzyme that cuts through nucleic acids - the building blocks of genetic material.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) involve the modification of a host's genetic material by introducing foreign genetic material. For agriculture, soil bacteria are the best source for mining such genes, which are then inserted into the host genome using genetic engineering. For example, in the case of cotton, the introduction of the genes cry1Ac and cry2Ab extracted from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) allows native cotton plants to produce endotoxin to naturally combat pink bollworm. BT Cotton takes advantage of this to help farmers naturally fight against the pink bollworm, the most common pest of cotton farmers.


The Grass Cutter_050623A
[The Grass Cutter (1895) - Daniel Ridgway Knight]

-  Plant Biology Research Topics

Plant biology is an important scientific field that plays an important role in humanity's current and future efforts to address the consequences of global warming, climate change, pollution and population growth. A deep understanding of plant physiology is critical to our ability to optimize current agricultural practices, develop new crop varieties, or implement biotechnological innovations in agriculture. 

Next-generation varieties must be able to withstand environmental contamination and a wider range of growing temperatures, soil nutrients and moisture levels, and respond effectively to growing pathogen pressure in order to continue to maintain good yields even in suboptimal conditions. 

Research in Plant Biology encompasses a broad range of topics, including:

  • Cell and Organelle Biology
  • Development and Cell Signaling
  • Genetics and Epigenetics
  • Physiology and Metabolism
  • Plant-Environment Interaction
  • System Biology and Modeling
  • Systematics, Evolution, and Diversity


- Seed Biology and Seed Physiology Research Topics

Plants start their life from a seed. The formation, dispersal and germination of seeds enable plants to reproduce successfully. Seeds are evolutionarily important structures that colonize terrestrial environments by developing important traits including drought tolerance and dormancy. 

Determining seed nutritional value, chemical composition, seed quality for propagation and utilization, and vigor and aging characteristics of seeds during storage in gene banks are critical to understanding how seeds function (i.e., their physiology. Gain insight into the mechanisms that control seed behavior. Genetic, epigenetic, biochemical, and morphological mechanical control of mechanisms contributes to advances in basic seed science and has potential applications in agriculture, forestry, and natural resource management. 

Changes in environmental conditions that alter seed characteristics and seed responses under stress conditions is of particular interest to researchers, especially the effects of global warming.

Research in Seed Physiology encompasses a broad range of topics, including: 

  • The evolution of seeds
  • Double fertilization
  • Cell cycle regulation during seed development
  • Regulation of gene expression during seed development: transcriptomics
  • Regulation of gene expression during seed development: proteomics
  • Hormonal regulation of seed development



[More to come ...]

Document Actions