Graduate Student Seed Grant Projects
Ploidy plasticity: exploring novel mechanisms of stress tolerance in a global invader
Some plant species respond to environmental stress through a form of genotypic plasticity called “endoreduplication”. Endoreduplication is a replication of the genome without cell division, which increases chromosome number (ploidy) and cell size, but the degree to which it is adaptive is poorly understood. Previous research indicates that endoreduplication is correlated with strong growth responses to simulated herbivory.
This research will shed light on an important and poorly understood mechanism through which plants cope with stress. Our study will also provide a useful source of genomic information on one of the world’s most invasive species.