The Foyer lab is interested in the regulation of growth and development under optimal and stress (drought, chilling, high light, aphid infestation) conditions, with a particular focus on how cellular reduction/oxidation (redox) homeostasis and signalling interact with phytohormone–mediated pathways, particularly involving abscisic acid, auxin and stigolactones. Research focuses on ascorbate and glutathione as key regulators of plant responses to stress and on how redox processes associated with primary metabolism particularly photosynthesis and respiration regulate gene expression.
The Foyer lab uses multidisciplinary approaches incorporating -omics technologies, molecular and biochemical techniques and whole plant physiology to study the relationships between primary metabolism, gene expression and growth under optimal and stress conditions. The lab tackles research problems of intrinsic scientific interest but is always mindful of the needs of agriculture and food security. In addition to undertaking fundamental studies on model plant species such as Arabidopsis thaliana, research in the Foyer lab includes translational aspects, particularly in relation to enhancing stress tolerance in crop species such as soybean, maize and barley.
Christine Foyer also directs the Human Health & Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa (Africa College; http://www.africacollege.leeds.ac.uk) at the University of Leeds, which works in innovative partnerships with African institutions in capacity building and the translation of research results into plant improvement programs.
The following projects are currently in progress in the Foyer laboratory: