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The Hepworth lab studies plants. Plants to contribute our well-being and have been bred for centuries to provide food, fiber, and medicine. Our research focuses on plant architecture traits that are important for crop yield. The source of these physical traits is the shoot apical meristem, a dome-like structure of stem cells that drives vertical growth of the stem and lateral production of leaves, branches, and flowers. We uses a combination of molecular, genetic, biochemical and cellular approaches to understand how plants are built from the ground up. Understanding these instructions allows the tailoring of important agronomic traits like flowering, branching complexity, seed dispersal, and the abscission of flowers or fruits. The knowledge that we generate in a model plant species is applied to crops as a way to speed up breeding and improve agriculture.


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