OSU Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Dr. Ramanjulu Sunkar




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 Research Tidbits

Plant Adaptation to Stress: Role of MicroRNAs and Epigenetics

How some plants can tolerate stress better than the others? The answer is not simple but as complex as curing human diseases such as cancer. The discipline of plant stress tolerance has been one of the most investigated research topics in plant biology. The molecular analysis over the past two decades contributed immensely to this scientific discipline in terms of genes that respond to stress. Nevertheless, we are still far from applying this information to enhance stress tolerance of crop plants at the field level because we still lack what are all the layers of gene regulations involved in this process. For instance, only recently microRNA-guided gene regulation has been added to this list, which we are beginning to understand. Similarly, the importance of epigenetic regulation of gene expression has been identified as yet another most recent layer of gene regulation in this process. Using molecular, biochemical and genetic analysis, my laboratory is interested in interrogating microRNA- and epigenetic-mediated gene regulations to better understand how plants can thrive under stress.


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