Stephanie P Klein
Postdoctoral Researcher

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Though they are the primary plant organ responsible for water and nutrient uptake, roots are often an underexploited breeding target for abiotic stress tolerance. Several root traits have been found to optimize resource capture, but we still know remarkably little about how these desirable root traits are under genetic control. Moreover, it is unclear how variation in genomic structure contributes to root phenotypic diversity and abiotic stress responses.

My work seeks to integrate the genome, transcriptome, and phenome to understand the genomic basis of maize root responses to variable nitrogen availability. Since transposable elements (TEs) comprise a large portion of the maize genome, most of my work in the Anderson Lab will investigate the potential role TEs play in modulating the activity of nearby genes in response to stress. Ultimately, this work will help address the need to develop more nitrogen efficient crops for applications in low-input systems where nitrogen is limited as well as reducing the need for nitrogen application in high-input systems for improved sustainability.


The evolution and function of transposons in epigenetic regulation in response to the environment