Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya receives $1,000,000 to study heat tolerance of rice

Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya, biology professor and interim associate dean in the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences will receive $1,000,000 over a four-year period to study the genetic qualities of rice to determine its heat tolerance. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

The goal of this project is to ensure active, stable rice production to keep up with future population growth and environmental changes.

Khodakovskaya is part of a consortium led by Dr. Andy Pereira, a dually appointed professor at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The consortium includes the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Oklahoma State University, and Louisiana State University. The consortium will study rice grown in two different environments: one under heat stress and one under the actual air temperature of the environment.  The research team will then identify what types of rice can grow in an environment with rising temperatures and communicate their results to plant breeders and farmers.

In this project, Khodakovskaya will study links between plant metabolism and heat response in rice and identify proteins and biomolecules, called metabolites, associated with heat tolerance. Each institution will analyze results generated in the project.

The total project cost for all four universities totals $4.65 million.


This project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation under Award Number 1826836 and Subaward Number SA1910237. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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