Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM News

Crops for a Changing Planet

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
Here, blue edges show positive correlations in gene expression between Kalancho genes (dark green nodes) and pineapple genes (yellow nodes). Red edges show negative correlations between gene expression in Kalancho and pineapple and in Arabidopsis.

To understand how plants respond to various environments, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers have mapped gene expression in plants that use different photosynthesis strategies.

Credit: Daniel Jacobson/ORNL

For years, scientists have been grappled with a seemingly insurmountable challenge: feeding the world while providing it with renewable energy as the climate changes. Research programs have sprung up to address these issues, developing genetically modified crops to withstand severe heat, drought and extreme-weather events – all the while maximizing productivity.

Designer plants is one thing; figuring out how they'll fare in the field for the long haul is another. That's what Daniel Jacobson, a systems biologist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is trying to decipher.

For the past seven years, Jacobson has collaborated with other members of the laboratory's BioEnergy Science Center and the Center for Bioenergy Innovation to study how best to improve the production of plants used for biofuels. And as new supercomputers have booted up at Oak Ridge, Jacobson's been excited to use these cutting-edge tools to study plant genetics and climate patterns on a finer and larger scale, employing machine allotments from the Department of Energy's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment and ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge programs.

From ASCR Discovery
View Full Article



No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account