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Improving Agriculture through Genomics, Bioinfomatics

With a background in plant biology and plant pathology, C. Robin Buell, MSU Foundation Professor, Department of Plant Biology, is an expert in the genomic aspects of plant biology and plant pathogens. Her research activities center on speeding the development and breeding of more productive, healthy, drought-tolerant and disease-resistant food and bioenergy crops using genomics, bioinformatics and computational biology of plants and their pathogens.

Buell developed the Biofuel Feedstock Genomics Resource, which provides a web-based portal or “clearing house” for genome sequence and annotation data, germplasm data, and large-scale functional genomic datasets for plant species relevant to biofuel feedstock production. Buell’s lab is identifying natural variants in maize and switchgrass to target for improved biomass production and recalcitrance in these two species.

This project is part of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, a research collaboration between MSU and University of Wisconsin. Their work to date has included development of a maize gene atlas, characterization of genotypic diversity in maize, analysis of switchgrass transcriptome diversity, and development of an exon capture array for switchgrass.

Related story: Helping Switchgrass Survive the Winter Will Boost Its Biofuel Potential

Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER)

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