Food crops are increasingly under duress as climate change has increased the severity and frequency of abiotic stresses, such as drought and flooding. Certain varieties of plants are innately resistant to these natural disasters. The Barding Lab is interested in elucidating the complex biochemical mechanisms responsible for plant survival by monitoring changes in metabolite levels (metabolite profiling) in the presence and absence of the stressors.

By incorporating a variety of analytical techniques, including liquid and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and UV/Vis spectroscopy, a broad representation of metabolites can be quantitatively measured, including TCA cycle intermediates, glycolysis intermediates, and amino acids. Understanding how metabolism and energy flux changes during the presence or absence of stress will aid in our understanding of the crop stress response.