Plants such as Arabidopsis are shade-intolerant. This means that direct light is an essential resource for their growth. When they compete with adjacent plants for light, a reduction in the red/far-red(R/FR) ratio can trigger a series of responses known as the shade avoidance syndrome (SAS). SAS is a strategy of major adaptive significance to plants growing in natural ecosystems. It is a phenomenon that can significantly impact yield in high-density planting, typical of modern agriculture. Our lab is interested in understanding the physiological and molecular photobiology of SAS using genetic, biochemical and cellular approaches.
The plant module I designed for BIOS will introduce the basic principles of plant photobiology and showcase four related experiment types: plant growth, gDNA extraction from plant tissue, genotyping of different mutants, and transformation in Agrobacterium. The final series of experiments will be authentic so participating students can actually identify the genotypes of unknown photomutants. We hope this training opportunity will enhance your interest in plant biology and attract you to join our lab. Hope to see you!