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Plant Resilience Institute Logo


The mission of the Plant Resilience Institute (PRI) is to enhance plant resilience to environmental challenges including extremes in weather and to become a “Center of Excellence” for foundational and translational plant research aimed at stabilizing the productivity and quality of food and energy crops against climate fluctuations and uncertainties.


Climate instability threatens agricultural productivity. Stabilizing crop production will require the development of crops that are more resistant to abiotic and biotic stresses including drought, high temperature, flooding, disease (bacterial, fungal, viral) and insect pests.


The PRI includes faculty, postdocs, students, and staff from diverse career stages and disciplines (biochemistry, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, microbiology, and pathology), with expertise in both model and crop species, drought and heat adaptation, plant-microbe and plant-insect interactions, microbial ecology, and genomics.


Thomas Sharkey headshot

Green Gold: Turning Trees Into 'Biofactories'

PRI faculty member Thomas Sharkey is part of a team of researchers reporting new findings that could help engineer poplar trees to produce high value chemical compounds.

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Several nematodes under microscopic imaging

DIY Lab Tool Evaluates New Molecules in Minutes

A collaboration of researchers, including PRI Director Dr. Sue Rhee, have developed new DIY laboratory tools to greatly speed up a crucial analytical process.

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Rose Marks Headshot

New Study Reveals Convergent Evolution of Desiccation Tolerance in Resurrection Grasses

A groundbreaking study led by Dr. Rose Marks, a Michigan State University Plant Resilience Institute postdoctoral fellow in the VanBuren Lab, sheds new light on the evolutionary origins and mechanisms of desiccation tolerance in resurrection plants.

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