Kochian, Leon V
Center Director & Research Leader
Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research Unit
USDA, ARS, ROBERT W. HOLLEY CENTER, 538 TOWER RD.
Ithaca NY 14853
The mission of the Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research Unit is to improve the security and nutritional quality of plant crop species through interdisciplinary research integrating approaches from molecular biology and genomics, bioinformatics, genetics, physiology, biochemistry and membrane biophysics. Our major research areas include: 1) Developing better genomic, computational, and statistical and molecular genetic tools for facilitating fundamental discovery at the gene/protein levels for use in crop improvement; 2) Developing food-based solutions to micronutrient malnutrition and other diet-related issues including development of plant varieties with higher concentrations and/or high bioavailability of critical mineral elements such as iron, zinc, calcium, and selenium, as well as selected phytonutrients including carotenoids, vitamin C and flavonoids; and 3) Enhancing food security via development of food and biofuel crop plant species that can maintain productivity on acidic, nutrient depleted and/or metal toxic soils.