The semi-arid West is characterized by cold winters, hot and dry summers, alkaline soils, and low humidity. The stresses these conditions impose on grasses have limited their quality, function, and persistence. My research group is using genetic and genomic approaches to identify genetic mechanisms within turf and other perennial grasses that respond to and tolerate these stresses
My research goals fit under the broad category of improved function, establishment and survival of perennial turf and pasture plants. Specifically:
- Sequencing genomes of turf and pasture grasses, and developing genome-based genotyping strategies to improve germplasm characterization and selection.
- Finding turfgrass germplasm with more tolerance to saline and drought conditions, and identifying genes that contribute to tolerance of those abiotic stresses.
- Identifying genetic mechanisms for flowering time, forage quality, drought tolerance, and winter-hardiness pasture grasses.
- Characterizing nascent varieties and wildland collections of species suitable for rangeland revegetation.