For more than 20 years, the Plant Biology Division has conducted fundamental biochemical, genetic and genomic plant research.
A primary research focus includes understanding and improving legumes. The Noble Foundation is recognized internationally for contributions to the scientific community and, in particular, its efforts to advance the legume Medicago truncatula as the genomic model for the study of all legumes, including economically significant crops such as soybean, alfalfa, clover and peanut.
The division's studies range from the potential use of plants to produce health-benefitting natural compounds, such as anthocyanins, tannins and isoflavonoids, to the study of beneficial microorganisms that live within plants and enhance plant performance and stress tolerance.
The Plant Biology Division is also recognized for its contribution to the field of plant cell wall engineering. The outcomes of this work will extend from the pastures - enabling new forages that are more easily digested by grazing livestock - to tomorrow's biorefineries, providing new, advanced cellulosic feedstocks that have the potential to yield more liquid biofuels per acre.