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Prof. Rishikesh Bhalerao



Dept. of Botany & Microbiology, College of Science, Building (5)

Office: AB34

Telephone: 4675865

Project Title

Uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying drought stress using root hair as a model

Project Summary

Water limitation partly due to climate change resulting in drought stress is one the major limiting factors for yield. Furthermore drought stress indirectly can also lead to salinity stress. Thus understanding molecular mechanisms that underlie plant response to these two stresses is essential for devising strategies for combating reduction in yield. Several studies have indicated an important role for root hairs (including by KSU participant Dr. White) in affecting yield and response to abovementioned stresses (Brown et al., 2012). Both the stresses (drought and salinity) significantly affect root hair development although the molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Umeå lab has uncovered a role for vesicular trafficking pathway in development of root hairs (Gendre et al., 2014, in prep). The KSU funded project will focus on understanding molecular mechanisms underlying the root hair development and how drought and salinity stress affect this process in model system Arabidopsis and compare these responses in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) that is relevant for Saudi Arabian agriculture. We will use microCT-scan, confocal laser scanning microscopy, genetics and cell biological techniques in collaboration with Prof. Malcolm Bennett (KSU collaborator) in this project