CRRI’s research vision will be achieved through following objectives:
Root Metabolism: Integration of Natural Genetic Variation and Systems Biology
Develop a systems-level understanding of root metabolism in maize by comparative analysis of plant omics data and genetic variation leading to construction of predictive metabolic network models;
Linking Natural Chemical Variation in Root Exudates to Rhizobiomes
Quantify the chemical diversity of root exudates across maize genotypes and the impact of this diversity on rhizobiomes;
Root Synthetic Biology: Tool Development and Applications
Develop and implement synthetic biology tool sets in maize to predictably alter root metabolism to: a) test hypotheses of the role of exudates on root-rhizobiome interactions and plant performance and b) refine systems-level understanding of roots;
Plant Phenotypic Rhizobiome Abiotic Stress Responses to Variations in Root Exudates
Assess the effects of variant root exudate compositions on performance of plants and their rhizobiomes in response to abiotic stresses under greenhouse and field conditions.
Education & Outreach
Implement innovative and comprehensive STEM-oriented activities for education and outreach. These activities provide opportunities along the continuum of the workforce development pipeline and work to engage a variety of stakeholders throughout the state. These stakeholders include future STEM students, education professionals, business and industry leaders, legislators and the general public.