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March 26th, 2014
7:00-8:30 PM

Schlafly Bottleworks, Maplewood, MO

It's Element-ary: soil composition and genetic effects on plant growth

USDA Research Scientist
Assistant Member, Danforth Plant Science Center
Honorary Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology

Moderated by: Cynthia Wichelman, M.D.

Ivan Baxter, Ph.D.

Why does a plant grow well in one type of soil but not in a different soil just a few meters away? It's an old question whose answers could be used today to improve our crops. One of the things that makes soils different is their chemical element content and the availability of those elements—that is, whether and how easily those elements can be released from soil for uptake by plants. Plants employ a large variety of mechanisms to explore soil and take up elements; thus the elemental compositions of their aboveground tissues, including the foods we eat, can vary widely. I will describe efforts to understand the complex geneitcs of plants and how they interact with diverse environments to drive the accumulation of elements. If we can understand these processes, we can improve plants' abilities to grow on more types of soils with less fertilizer and enhance the nutrition of our crops.

Science On Tap highlighted on St. Louis Public Radio and Voice of America!

Science On Tap is a place where, for the price of a beverage, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place outside a traditional academic context, in the Crown Room at Schlafly Bottleworks.

Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month during the academic year, usually from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. The standard format is as follows: about 45 minutes of presentation, followed by discussion until 8:30 PM. Seating is limited to the first 100 people.  No reservations accepted.

Crown Room at the Schlafly Bottleworks
7260 Southwest Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143
(314) 241-2337

Register to receive e-mail announcements of future Science On Tap events.

Interested in learning about medicine? Check out Washington University's Mini-Medical School!

For more information: e-mail scienceontap@wustl.edu
or call (314) 935-9495

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