University Of Wyoming
We are looking for a PhD student to investigate the contribution of light competition and phytochrome-mediated responses as they relate to crop yield loss due to weeds. It is well known that weeds reduce crop yield, but our understanding of the underlying mechanisms that cause yield loss is incomplete. Resource depletion is undoubtedly a major contributor to crop yield loss; as weeds use water, nutrients, and light, there is less available for the crop. But other mechanisms also contribute to yield loss due to weeds, including phytochrome-mediated changes in growth collectively called shade avoidance responses. Preliminary studies suggest shade avoidance can reduce Beta vulgaris yield up to 70%, even without direct competition for resources. As a part of this project, the student will be expected to 1) determine the growth stages of the Beta vulgaris life cycle that root yield is affected by shade avoidance responses; and 2) quantify the relative importance of reflected light quality to crop yield loss compared to direct competition for light and water.
M.S. in Agronomy, Botany, Biology, or related field.
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