"Image-Based Phenomics Approach for Capturing Abiotic Stress Responses"
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Research Interests: Unfavorable environmental conditions such as drought, high and low temperature stress, salinity, and flooding result in heavy crop yield losses in the U.S. and worldwide. These stressful conditions are increasingly associated with a shift in agriculture to marginal lands and erratic climatic changes. Dr. Walia's research interest is in understanding how plants adapt to these environmental stresses. I am particularly interested in the physiological and molecular characterization of crop responses to drought, heat and salt stress. Plant responses to stress depend on the developmental stage at which the stressful conditions arise. Research in the lab focuses on stress tolerance during developmental stages that are particularly sensitive to abiotic stresses resulting in yield and biomass losses, using genomics, biochemical, computational and physiological approaches to elucidate the mechanisms involved in abiotic stress tolerance in cereals such as wheat, maize, and rice among others. The overall research goal is to discover genes and genetic variants that can be used to improve crop performance in sub-optimal growing conditions.
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