Peptide signaling & mRNA translation in plant responses to the environment

We study peptide signaling and translational regulation in plant stress responses 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 and discover novel peptides involved in environmental responses. Then, we 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. Our long-term goal is to leverage these novel regulatory mechanisms to promote plant adaption to the changing environment and ultimately improve crop performance.