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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.

 

- 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.

 

-  Plant Biology Research Topics

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

 

 

 

[More to come ...]


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