I am interested in understanding how plants perceive, understand and respond to the environment. Through my scientific career I approached this question through different scientific perspectives such as genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and physiological studies.
For my post-doctoral research project at the TMO lab I work in anaerobic germination in rice. Our goal is to uncover the genetic architecture and physiology of germination under flooding conditions in rice. To achieve this goal we collaborate with scientists form the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines to phenotype over 2,700 sequenced varieties of rice seeds from around the world to find the ones that can germinate and grow under flooding conditions. Also, we perform genome wide association studies, pathway-GWAS, and mutant analysis. Findings and the rice lines generated by this research project could help improve rice yield production under harsh environmental conditions which are a current societal need. This project is funded by the Post-Doctoral NSF Fellowship and NPGI.
For my PhD I had two main projects, in the first project I studied insect resistance traits against root herbivore, western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera) because constitutive resistance traits against WCR are not well known in non-transgenic American maize lines. In the second project, I explored the use of innovative omics research tools to analyze plant-signaling and defense pathways that are activated during herbivore attack in insect resistant maize genotype.