Our research addresses fundamental questions relevant to the water and mineral relations of plants. Plant biomass is inextricably tied to mineral nutrients and water: increases in crop production depend fundamentally on increased nutrient and water use. On a global scale, agriculture accounts for roughly 70% of our water consumption, most of which is lost via transpiration from the leaves of crops. Over 60% of otherwise ‘fertile’ areas around the world, including parts of Australia, Southeast Asia, China, and the corn and wheat belts United States, are now fundamentally dependent on mineral fertilization and irrigation.
Water and mineral stress, and toxic salinization of soils are the most important factors restricting vegetative plant growth and crop yield worldwide.