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Dianne Pater

Date & Location: January 25, 2021, at 4p; Virtual visit

Subject: Growing under stress - plant biology research at a PUI

Host: Berkley Walker

About the Speaker

Institution: Vassar College

Research Interests: Plants are one of the most successful and abundant groups of organisms on earth, and are essential to ecosystem structure and human survival. Their limited mobility has driven plants to evolve behaviors and morphologies to survive biotic and abiotic challenges. Climate change is increasing the severity of environmental challenges plants must adapt to in order to survive. Humans have selected crop plants for a variety of characteristics, including flavor, size, and speed of growth. In doing so, we bred away much of the genetic diversity of the crops we grow. 

Dr. Pater's research studies the stress responses of cultivated tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum and their wild relatives S. pimpinellifolium. By understanding the differences in how these closely related species respond to stress, we can identify traits including photosynthetic responses and morphological changes that allow plants to survive and reproduce under challenging environmental conditions.