As sessile organisms plants must cope with numerous abiotic and biotic stresses. As a result of these stresses there are substantial losses in crop yield. To counteract environmental stresses plants utilize a number of different mechanisms including fatty acid based pathways to signal for a stress response, ultimately leading to stress tolerance. One such a pathway is HYDROPEROXIDE LYASE (HPL) pathway responsible for the cleavage of oxygenated fatty acids into a range of metabolites. It is well established that plants perceive and respond to HPL-derived metabolites, but the underlying mechanisms responsible for mechanism of action of these metabolites, have remained elusive. Elucidation of these mechanisms is central to the identification of signaling pathways mediating the activation of necessary adaptive responses; thereby enhanced tolerance to environmental challenges. This research program exploits a combination of cutting edge molecular, biochemical and genetic approaches using a plant model system in order to provide significant insights into the mechanistic basis of a previously uncharacterized HPL-pathway mediated stress signaling networks in plants in agriculturally important stresses caused by abiotic stresses such as draught and flooding-induced hypoxia. Understanding of the role of HPL cognate metabolites in the plant tolerance to abiotic stresses will have two major impacts. Educational impacts are through: (1) creating a strong and multidimensional program to mentor scholars in state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research; (2) extended efforts to recruit underrepresented minority students; (3) providing summer internship opportunities for high school students and teachers, and college students. Broad social impacts are expected through potential discovery of novel components with potential utilization in biotechnological applications geared towards enhanced tolerance to abiotic stresses in agronomic crops.