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Plants are the silent heroes of our planet. From the air we breathe to the food on our plates, they sustain us in countless ways. But just like every hero faces a challenge, plants are under increasing pressure from our changing climate, growing population, and emerging pests and diseases.

The good news? The 2024 Spring Benefit wasn’t just about raising awareness – it was about showcasing solutions! We explored the fascinating world of plant genomics with HudsonAlpha researchers, diving into incredible stories of how they’re using science to protect our future.

Explore these groundbreaking projects, experience behind-the-scenes content, and discover how you can be a part of ensuring a thriving planet for generations to come.

Kathy L. Chan Greenhouse

The Kathy L. Chan Greenhouse, a 14,000-square-foot marvel on HudsonAlpha’s biotech campus, is a game-changer for plant genetics research. The greenhouse is equipped with state-of-the-art features that help the plants grow to their full potential. While all of the technological features in the greenhouse level up the research significantly, the plants would not survive and thrive without the three talented individuals who manage the day-to-day operations of the greenhouse.

Click the button below to meet the Kathy L. Chan Greenhouse staff and learn more about their contributions to the plant genetics research at HudsonAlpha.

Decoding the seeds of tomorrow

High-quality plant genomes are essential tools in the field of plant science. They help scientists accurately identify genes responsible for important traits such as disease resistance, drought tolerance, high yield, and more. Information like this is critical in our fight against global challenges such as food insecurity and climate change.

The HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center (GSC) are experts at sequencing, assembling, and analyzing complicated plant genomes. Watch this short animated video to learn how sequencing works. 

Understanding the seeds of tomorrow

Faculty Investigator Alex Harkess, PhD, and his lab are experts at untangling the intricate web of genes that govern the important process of plant reproduction. By understanding how these genes work and interact, the team can identify and overcome challenges that threaten our food supply.

Dr. Harkess is also passionate about training the next generation of plant scientists. In 2022, he co-founded the American Campus Tree Genome (ACTG) initiative, which aims to break down institutional barriers keeping students from valuable hands-on research projects and experience in bioinformatics. 

Learn more about ACTG by clicking the button below.

Improving the seeds of tomorrow

Our planet faces a significant challenge: ensuring everyone has enough nutritious food. Here at HudsonAlpha, Dr. Josh Clevenger’s research is helping crop breeders unlock the secrets within plants’ DNA. Traditionally, farmers rely on visual cues to breed better crops. Dr. Clevenger’s approach uses genomics to identify the specific genes linked to desirable traits like drought resistance or higher yields. This speeds up the process and creates hardier, healthier crops that can thrive in a changing world.

Learn more about how genomics is helping create improved crops to feed the world by clicking the button below. 

Sowing the seeds of tomorrow

The fight against climate change demands innovative solutions across all sectors.  While there have been large-scale efforts and research funding to decarbonize transportation and electrical generation, fewer efforts have been focused on the manufacturing sector, which presents a unique challenge due to its reliance on energy and resources. At HudsonAlpha, we’re pioneering Greening the Southeast, an initiative focused on developing sustainable solutions for the manufacturing industry. 

To learn more about Greening the Southeast, visit our website by clicking the button below. 

Cultivating the seeds of tomorrow

Plants are the foundation of life on Earth, and the challenges they face are more pressing than ever. But at HudsonAlpha, we’re not just focused on solving today’s problems; we’re nurturing the next generation of plant scientists, geneticists, and bioinformaticians who will lead the charge for a sustainable tomorrow.

To meet more of our trainees, click the button below