In a global world, efficiency in food production and food safety are key for conceiving sustainable development. And, even though Chile has a strong economy based on agriculture, paradoxically it has not devoted systematic efforts in advancing plant and fungal sciences to face these challenges.
Understanding how plants and fungi perceive the environment allows conceiving effective plant nutrition strategies, as well as designing better alternatives in the control of plant pathogens and the development of biotechnological solutions.
The long-term goal of the Millennium Institute for Integrative Biology (iBio) is to understand how environmental perturbations control plant and fungal properties as individuals, and also as interacting entities. These studies consider the effect of genetic variability, abiotic perturbations (nitrogen, light, temperature), biological interactions (beneficial or detrimental) and the molecular mechanisms that govern time-dependent genetic programs, such as circadian and developmental processes.
Through an ambitious plan based on new open source synthetic biology technologies, integrative bioinformatics, systems biology, cutting-edge genomics, and molecular genetics approaches we aspire to advance the understanding of the genetic responses of plant and fungi to environmental cues.