Congratulations to Dr. Mallorie Taylor-Teeples, post-doc from the Nemhauser lab, who has been awarded a 3-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology from the National Science Foundation! The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site.
Increasing crop yield is essential to meet the rising demand for food, feed and fuel. One major area for improvement is the manipulation of plant architecture. The patterning of flowers along the shoot (phyllotaxy) determines the positioning of grain or fruit along a stem. Recent research in the Nemhauser Lab has found that changing one protein in the auxin response pathway can alter phyllotactic patterning in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Dr. Taylor-Teeples' project aims to test whether these findings can be applied to crop plants, namely maize and canola. If successful, this work will pilot a pipeline to precision engineer desirable agronomic traits into diverse crop, even those with limited genomic infrastructure.