Salt tolerance in Medicago truncatula

Salinized soils are a serious limitation on crop productivity, and a driver of patterns of plant biodiversity. Understanding the genetic basis of tolerance of salinity is fundamentally important for crop improvement and understanding patterns of plant didtribution and abundance.  In legumes, which host nitrogen fixing rhizobial bacteria in their roots, salt tolerance involves both plant adjustments to elevated soil salt levels, but also adjustments to the relationship with bacteria.

A powerful way to uncover the genetic basis of salt tolerance is to integrate approaches from functional genomics, population genetics, and field ecology to examine natural variation is salt tolerance.  To bring these disparate approaches together, I currently work in the laboratory of Douglas Cook at UC Davis, and collaborate closely with Maren Friesen and Sergey Nuzhdin at USC, and Mounawer Badri at the CBBC in Tunisia.  We work primarly with Tunisia germplasm, coming from a variety of habitats, but are starting to look more broadly across the Mediterranan distribution of Medicago truncatual to verify our results.  Our project webpage can be found at: nlab.usc.edu/dokuwiki.



Does it sound interesting?  The potential to integrate disparate approaches, and work in fascinating places, presents unique opportunites for those interested in postdoctoral or graduate positions.


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