Plant Sciences Overview
Dramatic advances in plant-based agriculture will be absolutely essential if the world is to feed the 9 billion people projected to inhabit our planet by 2050. Our world will need plants that deliver higher yield, are more nutritious, use water and nutrients more efficiently, and can tolerate more variation in the environment. Cutting edge advances in plant biology, genomics and epigenetics will permit plant scientists to develop new and novel ways to deliver needed traits.
Our mission is to propel the Purdue plant sciences program to a global leadership position by building a unique plant science research and education pipeline consisting of four core components outlined below.
Research and Education Pipeline
Center for Molecular Agriculture
Investments in fundamental research will allow us to develop the technology to customize plants to meet emerging needs both locally and across the globe. Relevant technologies are quickly developing and we are well placed to be the academic world leader in adapting this technology to plant sciences.
Plant Transformation Facility
Development of a transformation lab will bridge the gap between identification of valuable genes and their commercialization. In this facility, genes of potential value identified in crop and non-crop model systems will be inserted in native or modified form into agronomic and horticultural crops to validate their impact on traits of value. In today’s risk averse investment environment, this critical step will greatly facilitate subsequent commercial investment.
Automated Field Phenotyping Laboratory
Our superior research farms give us the opportunity to be the world leader in the new area of automated field phenotyping. Investment in this new technology will provide billions of field measurements for detailed assessment of important traits such as canopy development, leaf area index, height, photosynthetic ability, etc., that are important for both research and commercialization.
Plant Commercialization Incubator Facility
In order to utilize intellectual property developed at Purdue, field trials/testing are critical for licensing and commercialization in the plant sciences. This facility will enhance the value of IP and will make Purdue the “go-to” place for industry partners looking for new innovations and investment opportunities.
Unique Opportunity for Students
The plant science research and education pipeline will allow students to build technological and analytical skills, as well as entrepreneurship, leadership and teamwork skills. Investment in teaching laboratories that are equipped for "omics" and synthetic biology will enable students to gain experience with cutting edge molecular tools and will build on Purdue leadership in iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines).