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Plant Improvement Platform

NC State has historical expertise in plant improvement—for 130+ years, we’ve focused on understanding agriculture from the ground up, from seed to harvest. We have studied and published extensively on the underlying genetics and plant breeding, the soil and root system, water and nutrient delivery, crop protection methods and plant physiology.

We focus on how plants interact in their environment, including soil, climate and biotic and abiotic plant stresses. We investigate plant components and what it takes to grow them. The more we collaborate across disciplines and interact with farmers and businesses, the better we can advance plant science.

Located in a transition zone for various crops, North Carolina is well-suited for this research. We can grow crops in our state that mimic soil and climatic conditions from around the world. Facing diverse agronomic conditions and crop profiles, we continually seek solutions for combating a wide range of issues to yield improvement.


Relevance to Industry, Producers and Consumers

  • Uncover and promotes solutions applying to a multitude of crops
  • Ensure solutions have broad applicability and benefit to many stakeholders

Connectivity Across Platforms

Recent climate and land use changes continue to significantly impact the environment. We need a historical understanding of plant science to collect data and evaluate how we can have resilient agricultural systems now and in the future. Connecting research in resilient agriculture to predictive analytics ensures we study and create new technologies that will improve plants for years to come.

Ross Sozzani

Plant Improvement Platform Director

Known for her work in plant development and stem cell regulation, Sozzani’s research interest lies at the interface of computational and biological sciences. As Platform Director, Sozzani will lead work to connect a bounty of crop research data with predictive analytics, finding new technologies to improve plants for years to come.

headshot of Ross Sozzani
Ross Sozzani, Plant Improvement Platform Director, shares her vision for N.C. PSI.