Plant growth is shaped by the interaction between internal gene expression programs and the external environment.
The Department of Cell & Developmental Biology looks at the integration of gene activity and external signals; how their effects unfold from molecular through cellular scales to produce macroscopic plant structures.
Current projects focus on the control of plant organ growth, the regulation of flowering in response to low temperature and how plant development is modified by external factors such as ambient temperature or interactions with beneficial symbionts and harmful pathogens.
To achieve our aims, we use a combination of genetic, cell biological, molecular and computational approaches, mostly applied to reference plants such as Arabidopsis, Medicago truncatula, Antirrhinum and Primula.
The fundamental knowledge we create is relevant to agriculture. Applying this understanding of the genes and processes that control plant growth, their responses to seasonal and ambient temperature, symbiotic interactions and disease contributes to the improvement and performance of crop plants.
Ms Wendy Forsdick