MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory

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Benning named director of MSU/DOE Plant Research Laboratory
Benning named director of MSU/DOE Plant Research Laboratory

This August, Christoph Benning assumed the Directorship of the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL), becoming the 7th in a line of Directors that have headed this institution over the past 50 years. The transition to a new Director occurs at a special time in that 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the PRL’s formation, with Anton Lang, the founding Director, assumed his duties in May 1965. In between Lang and Christoph, the, the PRL was lead by 5 other scientists, including Charles Arntzen, Hans Kende, Peter Wolk, Kenneth Keegstra, and Michael Thomashow, as well as short periods of time when the PRL had interim Directors,

 

Benning assumes the leadership of the PRL at a time of significant changes in the research portfolio of the institution, but also at a time of great promise for future advances. During its 50-year history, lab scientists have used a wide range of techniques to address a variety of topics within the broad context of the plant science. Benning, the PRL faculty, staff and students will continue to build on the excellent traditions set by earlier generations and make their own important contributions. 

Atomic-level defense secrets revealed
Atomic-level defense secrets revealed

Just as nations around the globe carefully guard their defense secrets, so do plants. New research, however, has revealed the molecular secrets of plants’ defense mechanisms at the atomic level.

Microbes could be key for better yields, stronger plants
Microbes could be key for better yields, stronger plants

Michigan State University researcher James Kremer and his colleagues in the labs of University Distinguished Professors Sheng Yang He and James Tiedje are working to understand how plant microbes – the millions of microorganisms that reside in soil and plants just as they do in the human gut – could be the key to reliable, high-yielding agriculture