Assistant Professor Cory Hirsch

CFANS Plant Pathology
College of Food, Ag & Nat Res Sci
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Plant Stress Resistance Biology Focusing on Genomic and Phenotypic Variation

This group is working on two projects that use MSI resources:

  • Biotic and abiotic stresses severely limit agricultural productivity. There is evidence that certain families of transposons can confer stress responsive expression patterns to nearby genes in maize. The first aim of this project is to define the role of transposons in gene expression responses to abiotic stress in several different tissues and genotypes. The focus of the second aim is to determine the mechanism by which transposons influence the stress-responsive expression of nearby genes. This research will provide novel understanding of the molecular processes that underlie gene expression responses to abiotic stress.
  • Genomics can be used to understand the virulence and diversity of the oat crown rust pathogen. The first aim of the project is to analyze the pathogen populations and variation genome wide. The second aim is to identify the genomic regions that are associated with increased disease pressure.

A part of both of these projects involves analyzing images of plants to obtain numerous developmental traits as well as hyperspectral images to obtain physiochemical information of stressed plants. MSI is used for all NGS data analysis and other downstream computationally intensive task and to computationally analyze thousands of generated images, both RGB and hyperspectral.

This research was featured on the MSI website in:


Project Investigators

Jacob Botkin
Evan Hall
Eva Henningsen
Assistant Professor Cory Hirsch
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