The Dodd lab investigates the adaptation of plants to fluctuating environments, focusing on circadian regulation and signal transduction.
The Earth rotates on its axis about once every 24 hours, causing daily cycles in environmental conditions that impact the functioning of plants. This rhythmic environment has led to the evolution of circadian rhythms, which produce a biological measure of the time of day.
Circadian regulation has an incredibly pervasive influence upon the functioning of plants, influencing fitness, growth rates, metabolism, seasonal control of development, and responses to abiotic and biotic stress. Therefore, circadian rhythms make an important contribution to crop performance.
The Dodd lab investigates both fundamental and more applied aspects of circadian regulation and signal transduction, such as:
- The integration of circadian timing signals with other environmental cues for the adaptation of plants to the fluctuating environment
- Signalling between subcellular organelles, with a focus on chloroplast gene expression
- Circadian regulation of plant physiology and metabolism
- Circadian regulation of agriculturally-important characteristics, including the responses of plants to agrochemicals
- Investigation of fundamental properties of circadian clocks
The lab use Arabidopsis as their core experimental model, also using crop species and other experimental models depending on the nature of the question.