By estimation over half of the world's crop yield is lost to abiotic stresses. The main scientific question of interest to us is how plants balance growth and abiotic stress responses. Natural variations exist in the growth and its response to abiotic stress both within and between plant species. Delineating these differences and dissecting the underlying mechanisms will help improve crop productivity. Our research projects are generally divided into two aspects. On one hand, we study the evolution and genetics of plants/crops that adapt to harsh environments (aka extremophytes); on the other hand, we use the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana to study how abiotic stress affects cellular energy status and subsequent signaling events. In particular, we study the function of protein acetylation in linking primary metabolism and abiotic stress response and translational regulation in early heat stress response.