Recent advances in biology have been associated with several important technological advances in genomic research. Large numbers of new plant genes are being discovered daily and in the near future, we expect to know the entire set of genes present in a model simple plant called Arabidopsis.

However, sequence information only serves as an efficient starting point. The next generation of research will focus on functional significance of novel genes, and their potential utilization for improving crop growth and productivity. This can be carried out through the functional analysis of the newly discovered genes. In many cases, genes are expressed when they are needed; thus an important parameter alluding to their function is characterizing the expression profile of a gene or a network of genes. The Raymond Burton Fund is dedicated to support such research.

Increasing plant productivity and nutritional quality are a major human interest. In the past year, the Dobrin Center has continued to provide a coordinating and supportive framework for various activities aimed at increasing our understanding of the genetics, biochemistry, and physiological processes that can lead to improvements in crop plants.

During the past year, the Center supported novel approaches for the production of nutritionally improved storage proteins in cereals and legumes, increased wheat productivity, and reducing crop plants losses caused by biotic and environmental stresses.

The Melvyn A. Dobrin Center for Nutrition and Plant Research focuses on increasing plant productivity and nutritional quality through an improved understanding of plant genetics, biochemistry, and physiology.

The Charles W. and Tillie K. Lubin Center for Plant Biotechnology supports research on plant growth and productivity which could be later applied for improving crops. The center’s work is helping in a variety of ways to address important global challenges such as hunger, malnutrition, sickness, and environmental challenges.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Plant Molecular Genetics supports research in understanding the molecular genetics of plants and thereby contributes to addressing important global challenges such as hunger, malnutrition, sickness, and environmental concerns.