In order to feed an increasing population under more stressful conditions and with less arable land we must increase plant vigor. The Binder lab recently showed that transiently treating germinating seedlings with ethylene boosts photosynthesis and metabolism to increase both growth and stress tolerance. Eric
Brenya, a postdoc in the Binder lab, made the initial observations leading to this research and is the lead author. Esha Dutta, a GST graduate student, as well as several other graduate students from BCMB were involved and this work was a collaborative effort with Dan Roberts. These findings appeared in an article entitled Ethylene-mediated metabolic priming increases photosynthesis and metabolism to enhance plant growth and stress tolerance in PNAS-Nexus.The Binder and Bruce labs have received NSF funding to explore the mechanisms for these effects.