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Cheryl Kerfeld video interview: A cell with no lipids: what are the odds? [LINK] Cheryl Kerfeld video interview: A cell with no lipids: what are the odds? [LINK]

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.

September 3, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Kerfeld lab
Newly discovered sugar transporter might help beans tolerate hot temperatures Newly discovered sugar transporter might help beans tolerate hot temperatures

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.

August 31, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Sharkey lab
When plants and their microbes are not in sync, the results can be disastrous [LINK] When plants and their microbes are not in sync, the results can be disastrous [LINK]

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.

August 28, 2020 Tags: He lab
Josh Vermaas joins MSU as assistant professor Josh Vermaas joins MSU as assistant professor

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.

August 11, 2020 Tags: Vermaas lab
Gaëlle Cassin-Ross featured in ASPB July/August 2020 news [LINK] Gaëlle Cassin-Ross featured in ASPB July/August 2020 news [LINK]

The postdoc from the lab of Sheng Yang He was interviewed for the "Unsung Hereos" section of the Newsletter of the American Society of Plant Biologists.

August 5, 2020 Tags: future scientists, He lab
Thomas Sharkey receives NSF grant to study isoprene emission from plants Thomas Sharkey receives NSF grant to study isoprene emission from plants

The four-year, $898,946 grant from the National Science Foundation will allow Sharkey to continue his research on the evolutionary pattern of the appearance and loss of isoprene emission among various land plants and the impact of these emissions have on the atmosphere.

August 4, 2020 Tags: awards, Sharkey lab
PRL alumnus Zhi-Yan Du joins University of Hawaii as assistant professor PRL alumnus Zhi-Yan Du joins University of Hawaii as assistant professor

Du, a former postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Christoph Benning, will start a new position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu.

July 23, 2020 Tags: future scientists, Benning lab
Improving Photosynthesis: The Final Frontier? [LINK] Improving Photosynthesis: The Final Frontier? [LINK]

This long-from article details how our scientists are working to unlock the secrets of photosynthesis, an effort which might spur an agricultural revolution and lead to innovative energy and industrial technologies. The article appears in Futures, a magazine produced twice per year by Michigan State University AgBioResearch.

July 16, 2020 Tags: green solutions, fundamental research
NSF-funded project explores plant metabolism links to climate change, human nutrition NSF-funded project explores plant metabolism links to climate change, human nutrition

MSU plant biologist Berkley Walker is part of a team of scientists that is using a 3-year, $1.4 million National Science Foundation  Molecular and Cellular Biosciences award to explore the intersection between photorespiration and one-carbon metabolism, two plant biochemical processes that are critical to plant growth and human nutrition.

July 15, 2020 Tags: awards, Walker lab
Harnessing the power of biology: Scientists 'go the distance' in electron transfer study Harnessing the power of biology: Scientists 'go the distance' in electron transfer study

The work explores how electrons can move across long distances within biomaterials, such as proteins. Understanding the factors that control electron transfer in a biological context is critical to advances in diverse fields, including bioenergy, biosynthesis and disease.

July 6, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Kramer lab, Ducat lab
The diverse ways photosynthesis balances its energy budget The diverse ways photosynthesis balances its energy budget

A new paper reveals how nature has come up with solutions for photosynthetic organisms to safely harvest sunlight. The paper is included as a chapter in a new book, Photosynthesis in Algae: Biochemical and Physiological Mechanisms, published by Springer.

June 24, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Kanazawa
Brandon Rohnke named AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow Brandon Rohnke named AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow

The aim of the AAAS fellowship program is to connect science with policy makers and to foster a network of science and engineering leaders who understand government and policymaking. Brandon will be placed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences in Washington D.C..

June 9, 2020 Tags: Montgomery lab, future scientists
Tomomi Takeuchi and Eric Poliner start new positions at Michigan biotech companies Tomomi Takeuchi and Eric Poliner start new positions at Michigan biotech companies

Tomomi will be working for Charles River Labs, located in Mattawan, while Eric will be with Physicians Toxicology in Kalamazoo.

June 2, 2020 Tags: future scientists, Kramer lab, Benning lab
DOE renews funding for innovative photosynthesis research at MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory DOE renews funding for innovative photosynthesis research at MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the Michigan State University-DOE Plant Research Laboratory a three-year (2020-2023), $11.25 million DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences competitive renewal grant to continue its innovative photosynthesis research.

May 29, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, awards
New method tracks cyanobacteria photosynthetic productivity, in real time New method tracks cyanobacteria photosynthetic productivity, in real time

Scientists have established a new method to quantify how much cyanobacteria assimilate carbon in the process of photosynthesis. The method assesses carbon assimilation over a stretch of time. It also better factors in a wider range of environmental variables, such as changing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels or varying light intensities.

May 26, 2020 Tags: Montgomery lab, fundamental research
First-Person Science: Christoph Benning on Plant Biochemistry [LINK] First-Person Science: Christoph Benning on Plant Biochemistry [LINK]

Benning is featured on the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's 'First-Person Science' series, where scientists describe how they made significant discoveries over years of research. 

May 12, 2020 Tags: Benning lab
MSU's Gregg Howe elected to the National Academy of Sciences MSU's Gregg Howe elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Michigan State University plant scientist Gregg Howe has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Founded in 1863, the NAS is one of the oldest and most prestigious scientific membership organizations in the United States. Howe joins 10 current and emeritus MSU faculty as members of NAS.

May 7, 2020 Tags: Howe lab, awards
MSU researchers receive grant to continue studying pathogen resistance in plants MSU researchers receive grant to continue studying pathogen resistance in plants

The grant to Brad Day and Sheng Yang He will fund research examining plant responses to environmental threats and an outreach program designed to educate the general public on plant research.

April 24, 2020 Tags: awards, He lab
Lumen Chao starts new position at Children's National Hospital Lumen Chao starts new position at Children's' National Hospital

The former postdoc from the Thomashow lab will join Dr. Wei Li’s lab in Washington D.C. and conduct research to systematically identify critical genes and potential drug targets in brain tumors.

April 20, 2020 Tags: future scientists, Thomashow lab
Plants control microbiome diversity inside leaves to promote health [VIDEO] Plants control microbiome diversity inside leaves to promote health [VIDEO]

In a new study, published in the journal Nature, the lab of Sheng Yang He shows how plant genes select which microbes get to live inside their leaves in order stay healthy. This is the first study to show a causal relationship between plant health and assembly of the microbial community in the phyllosphere.

April 9, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, He lab

Top Stories

Why this promising biofuel crop takes a summer break Why this promising biofuel crop takes a summer break

By explaining a photosynthetic peculiarity in switchgrass, MSU researchers from the Walker lab may have unlocked even more of the plant’s potential.

Untying molecular knots: Making molecular simulations more efficient with LongBondEliminator Untying molecular knots: Making molecular simulations more efficient with LongBondEliminator

Researchers from the Vermaas lab created a more efficient tool to solve the problem of ring piercings in molecular simulations. This work is published in Biomolecules.

From colleagues to collaborators, a cross-department conversation links statistics to plant science From colleagues to collaborators, a cross-department conversation links statistics to plant science

Complicated sets of biological data can be challenging to extrapolate meaningful information from. Wanting to find a better way to look at this data led Berkley Walker, assistant professor at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, to team up with statistician and Assistant Professor Chih-Li Sung from the Department of Statistics and Probability.