The executive committee of the OCAST (Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology) has awarded funding for four Oklahoma State University plant science projects among a total of five which will collectively receive almost $600,000 for up to two years of research.

Operating under the Oklahoma Plant Science Research program, the projects were chosen by the committee after independent peer reviewers included them among a total of 27 research proposals they approved for potential funding. Plant science research targets those research activities in higher education, nonprofit research institutions and private enterprises that  have potential for commercial application.

Principal OSU investigators and their projects:

Nurhan Dunford will evaluate 18 algae strains that are native to Oklahoma to determine their bioproduct manufacturing potential.

Ramanjulu Sunkar will research the adaptability of specific plants (Thellungiella) to tolerate salty soil, one of the principal causes of crop loss worldwide. 

Ming Yang will use a series of research approaches to try to uncover new pathways in plant growth and development important for seed maturation.

Andrew Doust will research how certain plants (Paysonia) develop seed oil and uncover opportunities for agronomic improvement. 

The range of projects submitted for funding may involve plant productivity, renewable biomass, plant-based environmental applications and chemical platforms, plant-based solutions to improve nutrition, human and/or animal health or performance, process applications and seed management and the development of new products and services that shall form the basis of new, high-technology plant science/agriculture industry for Oklahoma.

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