Agriculture News

November 29, 2017

Purdue Center for Plant Biology members receive seed grant funding for research

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Seven teams of Purdue Center for Plant Biology faculty will receive seed grant funding for various projects aimed at advancing basic plant biology.

The PCPB’s first seed grant competition encouraged collaboration between researchers. Each proposal was anonymously reviewed by six PCPB members, who provided constructive feedback and determined the awardees through a ranking system.

“Collaboration between faculty is essential for the center’s success,” said director and distinguished professor of biochemistry Clint Chapple. “Not only will our first seven projects be supported as a result of the grant competition but also our members are now more familiar with each other’s research. This will lead to future faculty collaborations in all aspects of basic plant biology.”

The majority of the proposals were co-written by teams of junior and senior faculty within the center. In collaboration with Purdue’s Institute for Plant Sciences, the PCPB has hired 10 new faculty members since 2016 with research foci ranging from ecology to reproductive cell biology. The seed grant competition is one way that tenured and new faculty are working together to create a dynamic and stimulating research environment.

PCPB faculty and co-principal investigators of winning proposals are Ying Li, horticulture and landscape architecture; Yun Zhou, botany and plant pathology; Christopher Oakley, botany and plant pathology; Brian Dilkes, biochemistry; Cankui Zhang, agronomy; Natalia Dudareva, biochemistry and horticulture and landscape architecture; and Gordon McNickle, botany and plant pathology.

“As part of the Institute for Plant Sciences, the Center for Plant Biology is dedicated to research that will provide the fundamental knowledge to meet emerging needs locally and globally,” said Karen Plaut, interim dean of Purdue’s College of Agriculture. “This collaborative grant program is an important part of that mission, and I’m excited to see the progress in plant biology that will emerge from it.”

The Purdue Center for Plant Biology is funded by the Institute for Plant Sciences, which is part of a Purdue Moves initiative announced by Purdue President Mitch Daniels in 2013 to address the world’s food production needs and provide educational opportunities for Purdue students. 

Writer: Hannah Tucker, 

Media contact: Erin Robinson, 765-496-1626, 

Source: Clint Chapple, 765-494-0494,

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Shari Finnell, Manager/Media Relations and Public Information,  
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