Welcome to our research laboratory at the University of Alberta. We study vascular transport in plants. We ask how transport processes are influenced by environmental factors. In a broader context, we study how plants cope with abiotic stress, such as drought and frost.
A short description of our work can also be found on this website: http://xylem.simdif.com/.
Xylem development, structure and function. We explored wood development and how it is influenced by genes and environment. To do this, we grew hybrid poplar plants under different levels of water, light, and nitrogen.
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To learn what we studied on the topic of phenotypic plasticity, check this out: http://vimeo.com/31570800
Climate change effects on forest health. We are studying drought-induced dieback in aspen and other tree species in western Canada.
Aquaporins. Water channel proteins are found in many tissues and cell types. Plants have more aquaporin genes than other organisms, which raises the question what the function of individual aquaporin genes is. We have used a wide range of methods (including confocal microscopy, in situ hybridization, and qRT-PCR) to study these fascinating membrane channels.
Hydraulic traits of plantation trees. How does vessel diameter vary across sites? Can we link tree growth at boreal planting sites with vessel diameter or other xylem traits? Do hybrid poplar clones differ in their frost tolerance and leaf phenology?
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