Plants are unique among living things. Rooted in place, plants can’t get up and move if their location gets too shady or a swarm of hungry locusts descends. They have had to make all kinds of adaptations to deal with an ever-changing environment. Scientists study these adaptations at the molecular and genetic level to better understand both plants and animals.
The Salk Institute, one of the top research organizations for plant biology in the world, combines the areas of plant molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and epigenetics, and systems biology to decipher how plants respond to their environment in the hopes of mitigating climate change and helping agriculture adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Salk scientists use cutting-edge technology— including climate-simulation chambers and a custom seed-planting robot—to study plants so that all of us will have the food, clothing, energy and medicines we need now and in the future.