Jeremy Schmutz describes what plants are teaching us this Earth Day

HudsonAlpha GSC co-director Jeremy Schmutz sat down with Lee Roop from and discussed what plants are teaching us on Friday, the eve of Earth Day. 

“Some of this data gathering has only been possible in the last two or three years,” Schmutz said. “The idea of surveying 10 different plants and understanding what’s similar in 10 plants and then understanding how the genes of the 10 plants react to similar conditions, and from that being able to pick out the genes that are involved in reacting to a stress condition across 19 plants – those experiments could never have been done in history.”

Today, Schmutz and his colleagues use fast, high-capacity DNA sequencers to read the genetic codes of large numbers of plants, including poplar trees and switchgrass. He explained how it’s done.

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