Funding – Varala Lab @ Purdue


Investigating phylloquinone pathway regulation for production of high-value 1,4-naphthoquinones in cover crops

This USDA project investigates strategies to improve metabolic flux towards DHNA, a precursor to high-value 1,4-naphthoquinones.


Infernet: Gene Function Inference By Leveraging Large, Organ-Specific Expression Datasets And Validation Of Non-Redundant Regulators

This DOE project combines computational approaches, such as machine learning, regulatory network inference and phylogenomics, with molecular approaches, such as metabolite profiling and ChIP-Seq, to characterize the role played by key transcription factors (TF) in regulating the seed lipid biosynthesis trait. This trait serves as a proof-of-concept and the project aims to develop a general approach to identify multiple novel regulators for traits of agronomic or biofuel interest.

EvoNet: A Phylogenomic and Systems Biology Approach to Identify Genes Underlying Plant Survival in Marginal, Low-N Soils

Understanding the genetic basis of plant adaptations to thrive in extremely nutrient (N) poor and dry soil. A handful of phylogenetically distant plants have learned to thrive to these conditions independently and this project aims to use this adaptive convergence to understand the molecular mechanisms plants use for such adjustments in life style.

Living Fossils: Applying advances in single molecule sequencing to decode large and complex genomes of ancient plant lineages

This project focuses on “living fossil” gymnosperm species that have survived with little to no change in morphology since their appearance in the Devonian era. We will contrast four pairs of “living fossil” gymnosperms with their closest radiated lineages to uncover the genomic changes associated with speciation of the radiated species.

Previous Funding

Improving cold tolerance of cucumbers through targeted candidate gene identification for marker-assisted breeding