Exploring crop G x E towards climate-resilient cultivars
Welcome Luis Vargas
Luis is a new PhD student advised by Davide Cammarano and Diane Wang. He arrives to Purdue from Mexico, and his dissertation work will involve a collaboration with CIMMYT.
Welcome Natalie Roth
Natalie is a junior NRES major also working in the Hoverman Lab.
Welcome Makala Hammons
Makala is a sophomore Agronomy major and will be assisting in a variety of projects, including Rachel's M.S. work.
Crop species, along with their wild and weedy relatives, are equipped with an arsenal of strategies to cope with environmental variability. These strategies have differential effects on survival and productivity that are influenced by the temporal sequences of abiotic factors (e.g., temperature, precipitation, solar radiation) and their interaction with genetically-conditioned plant features. A vast array of the morphological, physiological, and molecular variation we can observe within and between plant species are emergent properties that arise from the interaction of plant and environment. Our program aims to clarify these interactions towards greater understanding of how variation in physiological responses to abiotic stress is partitioned across genetic groups; we seek to understand their consequences on plant behavior under novel environmental scenarios and ultimately to provide crop breeders with new tools for prediction.
Our work links genetics and physiology with iterative development, testing and validation of process-based models. We collect and utilize data from controlled environments (e.g., the Purdue Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility) as well as from field sites through a number of collaborations. Currently, our field-based collaborators include Duke Pauli (University of Arizona [cotton]), Michael Kantar and Robert Paull (University of Hawaii [papaya]), Amelia Henry (International Rice Research Institute [rice]) and Georgia Eizenga (USDA [rice]). Of course, we are also working with soybean and maize, which are more commonly found growing here in Indiana!