In 2016, a new project was funded for our group by NSF through the Plant Genome Research Project (https://nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5338). In brief, we will try to predict genotypic variation in plant growth and yield with and without abiotic stress through biophysical process modeling. Personally, I am in charge for collecting and analyzing physiological data which, along with transcriptomic and metabolomic inputs, will be incorporated into a Bayesian framework.
Once again, Brassica rapa provides our organism of choice. It is and excellent crop system to improve predictive process modeling of yield from physiological trait expression. Rapa is a globally cultivated crop with a short life-cycle and several functionally diverse cultivars. We have started to compare and contrast several morpho/physiological types throughout their life, from seed to seed. Interestingly, B. rapa also shows a wide spectrum of stress responses, suggesting that there is nearly as much genetic variation to explore in B. rapa as there is across several species.