Michigan State University microbiologist Ashley Shade and plant biologist Sheng Yang He have been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate how the microbiome interacts with, and may mediate, plant responses during environmental stress and how plants may recruit different—and potentially beneficial—root microbes during such periods.
A growing world population, coupled with on-going and anticipated climate change, demands accelerated improvements in agricultural productivity. As the pioneer land grant university, Michigan State University has been an international leader in plant science research for the last 50 years. This continues today with the establishment in 2016 of the Plant Resilience Institute (PRI) as part of Michigan State University’s Global Impact Initiative that has a goal of hiring 100 new faculty to accelerate discovery of solutions to grand challenges. Meeting global food needs and improving food security in the face of climate change is one such priority. The mission of the PRI is to enhance plant resilience to environmental challenges including extremes in weather and climate change, and to become a “Center of Excellence” for foundational and translational plant research aimed at increasing the productivity and quality of food and energy crops.