Crop Biotech Update

Initiative Creates Team of Engineers, Plant Scientists to Develop Smart Plants

April 30, 2014

Engineers and plant scientists from Iowa State University (ISU) have joined to design better crops that will tolerate climate change, produce higher yields and feed more people. The collaborative effort to develop smart plants brings together engineers fluent in measuring water and nutrients flows, running high performance computer simulations and visualizing huge amounts of complex data; and plant scientists who can breed and improve plants, identify plant traits, understand genomics and study soil and environmental impacts on plants.

The team, led by Daniel Attinger, ISU associate professor of mechanical engineering, will attempt to use the principles of engineering and physics in plant breeding. They are also working to develop other research techniques, such as using engineering tools, to study root systems in the soil.

The research effort is part of the Presidential Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research, launched by ISU President Steven Leath in 2013 to support research efforts that could lead to major advances, discoveries, and technologies.

For more information about this initiative, read the ISU news release at:
http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2014/04/23/engineeredplants.