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Research Fellows Directory

Boon Chin Tan

Dr Boon Chin Tan

Research Fellow


University of Dundee

Research summary

Water deficit caused by soil drought is one of the main threats affecting crop growth and productivity. An understanding of the molecular regulation of drought stress signalling is, therefore, crucial to help guide the rational design of crop plants to counter these challenges. To address a nationally recognised need to ensure food security, my research has begun to focus on the regulatory mechanism of transcription factors (TFs) in drought-stressed plants, combining proteomics and molecular approaches, including genetic engineering. This has also entailed developing drought-tolerant plants.

Lately, NAC TFs have received much attention as regulators in various abiotic stress signalling pathways. We have identified, isolated and characterised the drought responsive NAC TFs in banana through proteomics and RACE methods, respectively. The isolated cDNA of NAC TFs will be introduced into banana through genetic engineering technique. We envisage the generated data may be useful for supporting new strategies to improve drought tolerance in several crops and extend our knowledge on the role and fundamental mechanism in this stress-survival mechanism.

We now aim to comprehensively investigate global transcription in response to drought stress by mapping all transcripts, regardless of RNA stability, on model plant Arabidopsis and banana. We hope to translate information gained from Arabidopsis into improvements in crops like banana.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Understanding transcriptional regulatory network involved in the drought response in Arabidopsis and banana

Scheme: Newton Advanced Fellowship

Dates: Dec 2017 - Nov 2018

Value: £15,000