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Fulai Liu

Fulai Liu

Associate Professor

Research Rationale
Shortage of freshwater resources will make it difficult to sustain crop production in the future. This situation is compounded by the predicted change of climate with increased temperatures and more frequent dry spells. To cope this, it is necessary to develop water-saving agriculture countermeasures thereby improving crop water productivity. At present, the most efficient and immediate approach to improve crop water productivity under water scarcity relies very much on field management practices that are formulated based on better understanding of a wide range of biochemical, physiological, agronomic and ecological processes.


Research Interests and Objectives
My research interest is concerned with the regulation of growth and functioning of plants subjected to environmental perturbations particularly drought stress. I have given much attention to the relative importance of hydraulic and chemical influences on the crop vegetative and reproductive physiology under water deficit conditions. This comprises the whole suite of research from crop-water production experiments under both controlled and field conditions to physiological and biochemical characterization of plants’ reaction to soil water deficits.
My overall research goal is, by exploitation of crop drought adaptation mechanisms, to optimize crop water use efficiency through development and application of biological water-saving irrigation strategies.


Focus Areas

  • Research on physiological and biochemical mechanisms of crop plants response to adverse environmental conditions.
  • Identify the key processes occurring at different organization levels (e.g. molecular, tissue, organ, whole plants) and time scales, and the controlling factors of the processes.
  • Modify/manipulate those factors via management practices (irrigation, fertilization, tillage) and modelling tools to optimize water use efficiency in crop production.

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