My research interest is to use molecular genetic, biochemical and genomic information to understand problems of fundamental importance in plant biology which also have an impact on the improvement of important crop plants. One of the most important issues in crop agriculture is the economic and environmental cost of using large quantities of nitrogen fertilizer. Our current principle interest is in understanding the regulation of nitrogen metabolism with the long-term goal of generating the basic knowledge necessary to be able to improve the nitrogen use efficiency of crop plants. We are utilizing the genetic and genomic resources developed by the Arabidopsis scientific community to study this problem. In particular, we are interested in identifying regulatory genes important for these processes and manipulating their expression so that we can learn how to alter this trait in a positive fashion. The genes to be tested are being identified using a combination of bioinformatics analysis of sequence information, transcript profiling, biochemical analysis and by studying a large number of defined mutations in the genes of interest.