Wolfgang Busch, PhD

Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory
Integrative Biology Laboratory
Hess Chair in Plant Science

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Videos-Busch


From Then to When – Wolfgang Busch

Wolfgang Busch is a professor in the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory and the Integrative Biology Laboratory, executive director of the Harnessing Plants Initiative, and Hess Chair in Plant Science. Busch is a plant biologist who studies the genes and molecular mechanisms that determine how a plant’s genetic information interacts with the environment and is translated by molecular, cellular, and physiological networks to shape plant root growth. His research could help grow more resilient food sources—an increasingly urgent problem in the face of the planet’s shifting climate and increasing population—and help develop root systems that can be utilized on a large scale to store carbon in the soil that was captured by above-ground plant parts from atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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Gene identified that will help develop plants to fight climate change

LA JOLLA—Hidden underground networks of plant roots snake through the earth foraging for nutrients and water, similar to a worm searching for food. Yet, the genetic and molecular mechanisms that govern which parts of the soil roots explore remain largely unknown. Now, Salk Institute researchers have discovered a gene that determines whether roots grow deep or shallow in the soil. Read more »


MS, Biology, University of Tübingen, Germany
PhD, Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and University of Tübingen, Germany

Awards & Honors

  • Society for Experimental Biology President's Medal, 2015
  • Annals of Botany Lecture, ICAR, 2014

  • Genome Web Young Investigator, Genomeweb Intelligence Network, 2013
  • Doctoral Thesis Award, Reinhold-und-Maria-Teufel Foundation, 2009
  • Fellowship of the Cusanuswerk, 2004