Signaling Mechanisms in Plants

Harnessing the ways plant cells communicate to find solutions for energy, agriculture, nutrition and medicine


The Signaling Mechanisms in Plants research cluster draws upon existing expertise and emerging research strengths in cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, metabolomics and informatics to study how plants use cellular communication—a complex network of molecular signals— in their growth, development and defense responses to stress. Understanding these signaling processes can help regulate crop yield and resistance to pathogens, insects and other adverse environmental conditions. Manipulating signaling mechanisms in plants also will lead to new technologies in agriculture, human nutrition, phytoremediation of environmental toxicants and sustainable energy. The interdisciplinary exchange of ideas guides these advances: cutting-edge cell biology makes use of new imaging techniques, and metabolomic modeling draws upon research from analytical chemistry, genetics and computational sciences. This "systems biology" approach dramatically expands our understanding of living organisms and their environments.

Cluster researchers are recognized as national and international leaders within their respective fields. Collectively, they serve on numerous agency advisory panels and boards and are invited speakers at high-profile research conferences around the world. Annual external research funding includes grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy, and various corporations and foundations. Plant science research at UNT will address some of the most important challenges facing the world and, as such, will enhance the national reputation of UNT as a research university.

More information on principal investigators and research projects in the Signaling Mechanisms in Plants research cluster can be found here:

The Center for Plant Lipid Research is a laboratory resource for the coordination and exchange of cluster research activities: