Accessibility statement

Plants as a central key to climate change; moving from consequences to solutions

Tuesday 14 March 2023, 1.00PM

Speaker(s): Professor Colleen Doherty, Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, North Carolina State University

The interaction between time and temperature responses in plants is a crucial area of research in the fight against climate change. As temperatures continue to rise, understanding how plants respond and how to mitigate the impacts of climate change on plants will be increasingly important for food security and sustainable agriculture. One underappreciated aspect of climate change is warming nighttime temperatures. A slight increase in nighttime temperatures negatively impacts rice yields and grain quality. To mitigate the adverse effects of warming nighttime temperatures on rice yields and grain quality, our lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying the disruption of the plant circadian clock by temperature stresses, including warming night temperatures. We demonstrate that the temporally-organized gene expression is severely disrupted by warmer nights and identify candidate regulatory networks involved in this disruption. Improving our understanding of the interaction between temperature and the plant circadian clock can help increase crop resiliency in a changing climate. However, there's a limit to how much change our crops can take.  In our new area of research, we aim to utilize plants not only as crops for food production but also as tools to reduce atmospheric CO2. Reducing CO2 by plants can be achieved by using plants for phytoremediation and phytomining. By developing these approaches, we hope to make plants part of the climate solution and help mitigate climate change's impacts on food security and sustainable agriculture.

Location: Dianna Bowles Lecture Theatre (B/K018)