Samalka is interested in plant breeding for improved quality characteristics to overcome novel agricultural threats and to meet the current food requirement worldwide. Soil salinity is a major agricultural issue that affects crop production around the globe.
Growth of plants in saline soils results in physiological stress, which disrupts the essential biochemical processes of respiration, photosynthesis, and transpiration and causes severe loss of crop yield. Understanding the molecular responses of plants exposed to salinity stress can inform future strategies to reduce agricultural losses due to salinity. Samalka is working on discovering common genetic and metabolic salt tolerance mechanisms in mitochondrial and chloroplast function in wheat.