Plant Biology

Researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring created a new way to study a family of enzymes that control gene expression in plants. Their method reveals how these enzymes affect key decisions in plant development, including when to produce flowers.

October 05, 2021

Some of the most important tools in researchers’ toolkits are the model organisms they use to study biological questions. How do researchers decide which species, out of the millions that exist, to develop as models? Whitehead Institute researchers have had a hand in establishing and promoting the use of several model organisms over the years.

In this Director’s Dialogue, three Whitehead Institute scientists speak with Ruth Lehmann about exciting opportunities for leveraging fundamental biological research to create biotechnologies that address some of climate change's vexing effects.

If we imagine the cell as an orchestra, with many musicians who each have a small part to play, then what conducts all of these musicians and keeps them organized and harmonized as they play a symphony?

Experience a multimedia story exploring Whitehead Member Jing-Ke Weng’s work. Weng’s laboratory is combining the ancient wisdom of traditional plant-based global medicine with genomics, analytical chemistry, and synthetic biology in order to advance our understanding of plant metabolic evolution and impact a new era of natural products-based therapeutics.

Maintaining food security in the face of climate change is a complex, multifaceted problem of global importance, and so researchers are tackling it from many different angles. Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring is starting to work on ways to engineer crops that can better survive the effects of climate change and continue to produce high yields with high nutritional value.