Comparative and physiological genomics to understand the drivers of growth and environmental responses in plants
Overview: Local adaptation to environmental variation (e.g. climatic, edaphic, biotic interactions, etc.) is very common among plant population. Importantly, such local adaptation is often driven by differential physiological responses to environmental stress. For example, high elevation populations may flower earlier than low elevation relatives due to the selection pressures imposed by an early onset of winter conditions.
How do populations evolve such different responses to environmental conditions? My research takes a comparative approach to answer this question. By construction, analyzing and comparing complete genome sequences of related genotypes, it is possible to infer which genes respond to the environment and cause divergence among populations.