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News

Anastasiya Lavell
September 30, 2021
MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) scientists have published a new study that furthers our understanding of how plants make membranes in chloroplasts, the photosynthesis powerhouse.
James Santiago
September 22, 2021
James Santiago, a postdoc in Tom Sharkey’s lab was awarded an internal grant of $88,000 from the PRI for research on heat-sensitivity in tomato anthers and pollen grains using single cell RNA-sequencing.
Michael Thomashow
September 22, 2021
MSU plant molecular biologist Michael Thomashow’s research has always been fueled by a pretty simple question: How the heck does that work?
A computer graphic of a molecule
September 14, 2021
Two undergraduate students from Dr. Josh Vermaas’s lab have been awarded funding for their computational research this fall.
A field of plants
September 7, 2021
Tags:
events
The Molecular Plant Sciences Monday seminar series is kicking off the 2021-2022 school year with presentations by plant scientists from institutions all over the world.
Anne Rea
September 1, 2021
Dr. Anne Rea, former postdoc in Jianping Hu’s lab at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, accepted a position as assistant professor of cell biology at Maryville College in Tennessee.
Kara Headley
August 18, 2021
My name is Kara Headley, and I am the new communications manager for the DOE-MSU Plant Research Laboratory and the Molecular Plant Sciences program. I am very much looking forward to diving into this role and this community.
Federica Brandizzi
July 6, 2021
Four Michigan State University College of Natural Science faculty members – Federica Brandizzi, Joseph S. Krajcik, Robert L. Last, and Kenneth M. Merz, were among 11 MSU faculty members named University Distinguished Professors this year by the MSU Board of Trustees in honor of their achievements in research, teaching and mentoring, and community engagement.
Yang Xu
June 10, 2021
The Prize recognizes postdoctoral researchers’, “outstanding contributions to plant biology, based on initiative and originality of the research, productivity, and leadership.” In addition, Dr. Xu, a member of the Benning lab, has accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship at the University of Guelph in Canada.
A graphic of a brain made of computer circuits
May 20, 2021
A new AI system, called DeepLearnMOR, can identify organelles and classify hundreds of microscopy images in a matter of seconds and with an accuracy rate of over 97%. The study illustrates the potential of AI to significantly increase the scope, speed, and accuracy of screening tools in plant biology.
Three types of beans. White, red and brown.
May 13, 2021
The study reports that the activity levels of the carbon metabolism protein, G6PDH, are related to decreased production of pollen in bean flowers. As global temperatures rise, some bean crops, including Michigan-grown varieties, might be more sensitive to higher heat levels.
Kaylie Barton in her graduation gown outside of a greenhouse
May 12, 2021
Kaylie Barton, a recently graduated undergraduate student in the lab of Federica Brandizzi, has won first prize at the 2021 University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum. Kaylie was recognized for her poster presentation in the Plant Sciences category.
Anton Lang
May 3, 2021
Evan Angelos and Hainan Zhao were recognized during a ceremony which took place online on Monday, April 19, 2021. The Anton Lang Memorial Fund was established in honor of the founding director of the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, who passed away in 1996.
Joanne Thomson
March 23, 2021
The NRT program at Michigan State University, funded by the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship program, trains doctoral students in applying computational data science approaches to solving problems in plant biology.
Berkley Walker
March 16, 2021
Berkley Walker is leading a new, nearly $1 million National Science Foundation grant effort to better understand photorespiration, a natural process that saps plants’ productivity.
Graphic of Electron transport chain of cyanobacteria
March 9, 2021
Two metabolic pathways introduced into cyanobacteria increase its photosynthesis performance and provide partial protection from negative effects of excess light absorption.
A group of people in lab coats
February 23, 2021
A new study from Michigan State University is shedding light on how plants could potentially become more efficient at photosynthesis. The long-term implications of this research range from improved agricultural productivity to predicting the effects of climate change.
Josh Vermaas
January 15, 2021
Josh Vermaas, the newest addition to the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory faculty body, has begun his assistant professorship this month. Josh is a computational biophysicist whose research interests include developing computational models to better understand membrane processes and plant materials.
Beronda Montgomery
December 29, 2020
Michigan State University’s Beronda Montgomery, an MSU Foundation Professor, was one of five individuals nominated by the Union of Concerned Scientists as a 2020 Science Defender. Montgomery was cited for her "incredibly important work . . . to ensure that science benefits the common good.”
A closeup of Arabidopsis seedlings on a plate
December 22, 2020
Every fungus, plant and animal on earth is dependent on their cells’ endoplasmic reticulum—a three-dimensional organelle of protein producing and folding tubules—to grow and survive. Federica Brandizzi, MSU Foundation Professor in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Lab, is using powerful genomics tools and a $1.95 million NIH grant to understand how it works with the aim of treating diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer more effectively.
Arabidopsis seedlings
December 21, 2020
With the support of NASA, the lab of Federica Brandizzi has been studying how plants survive in space conditions. A new study starts revealing how a plant system – which helps plants manage various types of Earthly stresses, such as extreme heat – might function in space.
Gloved hands hold a test tube
December 4, 2020
Christoph Benning and Gregg Howe are two of the four MSU College of Natural Science (CNS) researchers named Highly Cited Researchers, an annual compilation of the global leaders in scientific influence by Clarivate Analytics. The linked article features both scientists.
Actin filaments, seen under a microscope. Green threads on a black background
December 4, 2020
A new study from Michigan State University identifies a missing link which controls plant immunity and plants’ ability to maintain their cytoskeleton – the frame that both gives plant cells their shape and that serves as a highway for materials to move inside these cells.
Beronda Montgomery
December 1, 2020
Montgomery was awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was recognized for distinguished contributions to plant biology and microbiology, particularly using photobiological analyses to investigate physiological and morphogenic adaptation of photosynthetic organisms.
A group people surrounding a laptop
November 6, 2020
The grant award supports Asian and Pacific universities in their efforts to establish partnerships with renowned foreign universities. Scientists from MSU and Rajarata University will conduct joint activities in the area of smart agriculture, ranging from fundamental genomics and chemistry, to student training and curriculum-based activities.
Dae Kwan Ko
November 6, 2020
The goal of this year’s fellowship is to provide fellows with real world experience in cloud computing and a good understanding of its capabilities and limitations. 
Maize plant
October 26, 2020
Scientists have identified new transcription factor networks and their dynamic activities that protect the endoplasmic reticulum in situations requiring the production of large quantities of proteins.
Microscope image of algae
October 8, 2020
A new study delves into how algae manage cell division processes when they suffer from starvation. The finding has implications for biofuel technologies, given that algae have the potential to become a sustainable source of high value oils.
Visible appearance of the canthaxanthin
October 2, 2020
The work is the first structural description of a carotenoid binding protein called C-terminal domain-like carotenoid protein.
Anton Lang
September 30, 2020
Kellie Walters and Bryan Ferlez were both recognized as scientists who exemplify the research excellence, ideas, dedication, and vision of former PRL director, Anton Lang.
Ethan Thibault
September 10, 2020
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship is one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive awards for graduate students. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission.
Cheryl Kerfeld
September 3, 2020
Cheryl Kerfeld was recently interviewed by the journal BioTechniques. In the video, she discusses bacterial microcompartments and her work on the Proteo Cell Project, an effort to create the first cell without any lipids present.
Assorted beans
August 31, 2020
The lab of Thomas D. Sharkey have characterized a sucrose transporter protein found in common beans. The recently discovered protein, called PvSUT1.1, could help us understand how beans tolerate hot temperatures.
Two potted plants, one larger and healthier than the other
August 28, 2020
Tags:
He lab
Sheng Yang He writes about his lab's recent discovery of genes and processes involved in selecting the right microbiome inside plant leaves. The article is featured on The Conversation.
Graphic of Calvin Benson cycle
August 25, 2020
Isoprene and photosynthetic metabolism labeling experiments provided evidence that glucose is recycled back into photosynthetic metabolism.
Josh Vermaas
August 11, 2020
Josh Vermaas will join Michigan State University on Jan. 1, 2021, as an assistant professor in the field of computational science. He will share his position between the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) in the College of Natural Science.