Varala Lab @ Purdue

Our lab focuses on how plants perceive abiotic stress and alter their transcriptional programs as a response to the specific stress. We aim to capture the genetic mechanisms, natural variation in these mechanisms and the resultant transcriptional states leading to plant resilience. We use a combination of genomic, systems biology and phylogenetic tools to study stress response mechanisms in model species (e.g., Arabidopsis), crop species (e.g., Tomato) and wild species (e.g., Chilean andes). Specifically, the research aims to understand how plants alter their transcriptional program immediately in response to thermal stress in the short term. In the long terms we want to understand how plants change their overall gene expression regime on evolutionary scales to adapt to colder and warmer climates.

We focus on gene network responses to environmental stressors and the conservation of this network across species.

Want to join the team? We are currently looking for graduate students to join our group and contribute to the exciting projects (see more on the Research tab).