NSF CAREER Awards for Plant Center Members Alexander Bucksch and Brian Kvitko
The Plant Center’s tradition of research excellence just got reseeded with two NSF CAREER Awards. Dr. Alexander Bucksch and Dr. Brian Kvitko were both awarded the prestigious distinction by NSF to set forth the tradition of excellence within the Plant Center.
Bucksch’s passion is anchored in the remarkable diversity of size and shape in plant roots. To date, is not understood how the diversity in root architecture contributes to crop yields or plant biomass in part because roots are buried underground and difficult to study. His research takes a quantitative approach to analyze the wide diversity of root architectures. Bean roots grown under experimental conditions will be imaged and the resulting data will be used to create new mathematical and computational tools to discern causes of root variability. Combined with genomic information, the analytical tools will identify genetic elements underlying root shapes in response to environmental and genetic variation. As a result, Bucksch’s research will point to new opportunities for breeding targets in crops such as common bean and extended to maize. https://b.ugioa.edu/dr-alexander-bucksch-receives-nsf-early-career-award/#.XK9MmeRYaUl
Kvitko is fascinated by the constant challenges that plants face due to invading microbes. To counter these invaders, plants deploy a robust and effective immune system capable of detecting, appropriately responding to and restricting the proliferation of most microbes. While the molecular mechanisms underlying the detection of microbes and the signaling mechanisms associated with the induction of immunity are understood in ever increasing detail, the molecular mechanism(s) by which microbial proliferation is restricted by immune functions have been elusive. The long-term goal of this project is to understand the bacterial mechanisms targeted by plant immune action. Over the coming years Kvitko’s research will suggest new crop protection solutions to counter yield losses. http://newswire.caes.uga.edu/story.html?storyid=7878&story=CAREER-Grants