mRNA translation in plant responses to the environment

We study translational regulation in both normal growth and stress response using Arabidopsis and tomato. Translation is the final step of the central dogma and can alter protein abundance more directly than transcription. We exploit RNA-seq and Ribo-seq to monitor genome-wide mRNA translation in response to environmental changes, then use a combination of molecular biology, genetics, and biochemical approaches to dissect the regulatory mechanisms. In particular, we focus on abiotic stress and changes in diurnal cycles. By studying translational regulation, we aim to develop new strategies to promote plant adaption to the changing environment and ultimately improve crop performance.