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As a result of climate change, the environmental fluctuations currently experienced by plants will only increase in the coming years, which could lead to devastating consequences for plant health and food production. At the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Dr. Clay Wright’s work is centered on trying to better understand plant behavior in order to manipulate it in such a way as to increase their robustness and plasticity, thereby preempting the coming environmental changes.

He joins the conversation to discuss a range of intriguing topics, including plant defense mechanisms against pests and pathogens, how different types of plants are likely to respond to increases in both temperature and CO2 levels, the relationship between endophytes, yeast, and the plants they come into contact with, how microbes take advantage of a shared evolutionary history with plants in order to hijack their defense mechanisms, the shade avoidance response of plants, and the details of two specific plant hormones they’re working within the lab at Virginia Tech.

Interested in learning more? Tune in and check out https://www.bse.vt.edu/.

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