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Scientist receives grant to enhance plant root growth

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Posted Sep. 24, 2015

ARDMORE, Okla. — Noble Research Institute Professor Elison Blancaflor, Ph.D., recently received a two-year, $100,000 grant from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST).

The goal of this grant is to discover new, small synthetic chemicals that modify root system architecture in model and crop plants.

"Some of these chemicals could have important targets in root cells that will help us better understand mechanisms by which plant roots grow and develop," Blancaflor said. "Proper root growth and development is essential to producing healthy crops and grasses."

Blancaflor and Rafeiza Khan, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Blancaflor's team who assisted in the development of the project, which was ranked first of the 19 proposals submitted, will screen a library of small molecules that affect root development.

It is possible that some of these molecules could be used as new tools for basic root research or as new growth regulators for agriculturally important crops.


OCAST grantNoble Research Institute Professor Elison Blancaflor, Ph.D. (right), and postdoctoral fellow Rafeiza Khan, Ph.D., will work to discover new synthetic chemicals that modify root system architecture in plants as part of the OCAST grant.

Noble Research Institute, LLC (www.noble.org) is an independent nonprofit agricultural research organization dedicated to delivering solutions to great agricultural challenges. Headquartered in Ardmore, Oklahoma, the Noble Research Institute conducts fundamental, translational and applied research; offers no-cost consultation and education to farmers, ranchers and land managers; operates seven research and demonstration farms; and educates students of all ages about science and agriculture. The Noble Research Institute was founded by Lloyd Noble, an Oklahoma oilman and philanthropist, in 1945 as The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation to advance agriculture and land stewardship.

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