|LANL/NMC partnership capabilities in plant biology span genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, informatics, biochemistry, bacteriology, microbiology, phenology, ecology, dynamic and quantitative computational modeling, spectroscopy, and remote sensing. As the research challenges in biology increasingly require crossing disciplines, our ability to assemble and integrate these inter-related and highly specialized research capabilities puts our partnership in a unique position to deliver cutting-edge, basic and translational research.||
NMC performs basic research with impacts on sustainable energy production, food security, and climate induced ecological change.
- We develop enhanced and sustainable supplies of plant-based energy feedstocks.
- We increase plant productivity and nutritional qualities, and identify and mitigate risks to food supplies associated with natural and anthropogenic causes.
- We elucidate carbon dynamics, energy and nutrient exchange, and climate feedbacks within the global climate system based on molecular-to-cellular-to-plant-to-ecosystem science and modeling.
Sayre Research Team
Dr. Sayre's algal implant biology group is internationally known for improving algae as a feedstock for biofuels. His algae research program includes using algae to control mosquito populations that carry malaria and for vaccine delivery in agricultural applications. The group works with a variety of plants investigating characteristics of various biofuels feedstocks and improving plant nutritional content and productivity.
Empowering Women Farmers
Most farmers in Africa are women; women farmers produce more than 75% of the region's basic foodstuffs. Cassava roots, the staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa, decay within 3 days following harvest. The limited storage life of cassava restricts cassava farmers to subsistence farming since the roots cannot be taken to market and sold before they rot.
Extending the shelf life of cassava to several weeks would reduce financial losses in Nigeria alone by $2.9 Billion over a 20-year period, primarily benefiting women farmers.
NMC researcher Tawanda Zidenga's research has resulted in extending the shelf life of Cassava from 3 to 14 days.