The CCIB would like to Congratulate Dr. Xingyun Qi for being awarded a grant from the NIH for her work in osmotic regulation of a peptide ligand-mediated signaling! Osmotic stress is well-known to have an effect on how an organism adapts to their environment. The Qi lab focuses their research on the development of pores found on the surface of leaves in plants called stomata that facilitate photosynthesis. The cells on the leaf’s surface can send signals to their neighbors to ensure that there are enough stomata developed for a plant to be able to function. One way that plants send signals to each other is through ligands called Epidermal Patterning Factors (EPFs) and these ligands are greatly affected by the environment. The group has found that osmotic stress causes a significant reduction on stomatal density and that there is a specific EPF ligand that is induced by osmotic stress. This award will allow the Qi lab to continue research into this ligand to better understand it and to identify other possible targets of the osmotic stress induced EPF signaling pathway. If you would like to read more about the grant and the proposed project, check out this link!