HudsonAlpha faculty investigator Kankshita Swaminathan, PhD, is passionate about using functional genomics and gene editing to create plants for a more sustainable future. This means engineering plants that require fewer resources like water and minerals and improving their abilities to adapt to extreme environments such as poor soils and drought.
Swaminathan and her lab specialize in annual and perennial grasses like switchgrass, Miscanthus, Panicum hallii, and sorghum. In particular, the lab is interested in using genomics and biotechnology to improve bioenergy feedstock crops to increase their yields. Their research also focuses on understanding the genetics behind how perennial plants reproduce and how they capture and store nutrients to use year after year.