When your tomato plants won’t bear fruit during the dog days of summer, a team of Wake Forest researchers led by Gloria Muday will be in the lab, trying to find a plant that thrives despite the heat.
A $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help determine why most tomato plants fail to pollinate when summer temperatures sit at 93.2 Fahrenheit for more than a few hours. The goal: develop more heat-tolerant tomatoes for future crops.
The grant supports a coalition of scientists including Muday, the university’s Charles M. Allen Professor of Biology and director of its Center for Molecular Signaling; pollen expert Mark Johnson of Brown University, who was an undergraduate student of Muday’s at Wake Forest; James Pease, an assistant professor of biology at Wake Forest; Ann Loraine of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and Ravishankar Palanivelu of the University of Arizona.
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