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How detecting light in the water affects how much food cyanobacteria get How detecting light in the water affects how much food cyanobacteria get

Scientists have linked how water-dwelling bacteria monitor light wavelengths in their surroundings with their capacity to do photosynthesis. The research has medical/biofuels implications.

February 15, 2018 Tags: fundamental research, Montgomery lab
SP1 protein interacts with three energy-related cellular organelles SP1 protein interacts with three energy-related cellular organelles

The protein, which helps to construct peroxisomes, also interacts with chloroplasts and mitochondria. The organelles are important for generating and managing plant energy supplies.

February 5, 2018 Tags: Hu lab, fundamental research
Reviewing photosynthesis in dynamic conditions: Photosystem I as a guard Reviewing photosynthesis in dynamic conditions: Photosystem I as a guard

The fundamental protein complex potentially guards plants from high light and ageing effects. This new observation could change how we view photosynthesis.

January 22, 2018 Tags: Froehlich, fundamental research
Reflections from "Feed the Future" conference in Burkina Faso Reflections from "Feed the Future" conference in Burkina Faso

Atsuko Kanazawa reflects on collaborative projects in West Africa that contribute to local food security, like identifying drought-resistant beans or supporting women-run experimental farms.

January 15, 2018 Tags: Kanazawa, green solutions, Kramer lab
Growing a garden in space Growing a garden in space

Scientists are studying how plants adapt to space environments. The NASA funded research aims to help us grow fresh produce beyond the planet Earth.

December 19, 2017 Tags: fundamental research, Brandizzi lab
Bethany Huot wins 2017 Kende award Bethany Huot wins 2017 Kende award

The award recognizes the best doctoral dissertation in the plant sciences at MSU from the previous two years.

December 12, 2017 Tags: awards, Montgomery lab, He lab
MSU 2017 team wins silver medal at synthetic biology competition MSU 2017 team wins silver medal at synthetic biology competition

MSU’s second-ever iGEM team earned a Silver Medal for a new technology that can detect dangerous contaminants in the environment.

December 11, 2017 Tags: Ducat lab, outreach, future scientists
How plants 'muscle up' as they prep for the cold How plants 'muscle up' as they prep for the cold

A protein that helps plants prepare for the cold also helps them beef up for bacterial attacks, as a precautionary measure.

December 7, 2017 Tags: fundamental research, Thomashow lab
Fighting plant disease at warm temperatures keeps food on the table [VIDEO] Fighting plant disease at warm temperatures keeps food on the table [VIDEO]

The Nature Communications study shows how high temperature weakens plant defenses while, separately, strengthening bacterial attacks.

November 27, 2017 Tags: He lab, fundamental research
Sheng Yang He and Gregg Howe named 2017 Highly Cited Researchers Sheng Yang He and Gregg Howe named 2017 Highly Cited Researchers

Their research ranks among the top 1% most cited works in their fields during the year of publication. He and Howe have made the list three years in a row.

November 16, 2017 Tags: He lab, Howe lab, awards
How to build artificial nanofactories to power our futures: Logistics How to build artificial nanofactories to power our futures: Logistics

A peek into the logistics of how bacterial nanofactories move electrons, towards creating chemical products. Future apps include renewable energy and medical tools.

October 31, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, fundamental research
Better together: a bacteria community creates biodegradable plastic with sunlight Better together: a bacteria community creates biodegradable plastic with sunlight

The cooperative works like an assembly line and is relatively cheap to run. Future products could include medicine, even food for Martian outposts.

October 23, 2017 Tags: Ducat lab, green solutions
Grad student Isaac Osei-Bonsu wins conference award Grad student Isaac Osei-Bonsu wins conference award

The Department of Plant Biology student won for his poster presentation on research to improve photosynthetic performance in heat-sensitive cowpea crops.

October 12, 2017 Tags: Kramer lab, awards, future scientists
Taking the brakes off plant production: not so good after all Taking the brakes off plant production: not so good after all

When engineers want to speed up a system, they look for the slowest steps and make them faster. In plants, this approach potentially does more harm than good, says the Kramer lab.

October 10, 2017 Tags: Kanazawa, Kramer lab, fundamental research
PhotosynQ education focus: Sonya Lawrence [LINK] PhotosynQ education focus: Sonya Lawrence [LINK]

This post highlights how the Instructor in the Biological Sciences Program at MSU has been incorporating PhotosynQ into her courses since 2014.

October 9, 2017 Tags: Kramer lab, future scientists, PhotosynQ
Beronda Montgomery named American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer [LINK] Beronda Montgomery named American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer [LINK]

The five lectures, taking place between 2017 and 2019, will focus on diverse research topics and also career cultivation.

October 6, 2017 Tags: Montgomery lab, outreach
Identifying a new family of light-responsive proteins Identifying a new family of light-responsive proteins

The new family of proteins protects cyanobacteria from sunlight damage, and they are interesting for use in synthetic medical or renewable energy applications.

October 2, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, Montgomery lab, fundamental research
Turning the evolutionary clock back on a light-sensitive protein Turning the evolutionary clock back on a light-sensitive protein

Scientists show how the two OCP parts interact and also create new synthetic versions of that protein. The goal is to use it in synthetic healthcare systems, powered by light.

September 19, 2017 Tags: Lechno-Yossef, Kerfeld lab, fundamental research
Perspectives on building nanofactories for energy and medical uses Perspectives on building nanofactories for energy and medical uses

Scientists are learning how bacterial nanofactories are constructed in nature. Recent experiments show we could engineer their building blocks into new structures, for useful applications.

September 12, 2017 Tags: Ducat lab, green solutions
PhotosynQ at Feed the Future Conference in Burkina Faso [LINK] PhotosynQ at Feed the Future Conference in Burkina Faso [LINK]

“Feed the Future," funded by USAID, engages universities, institutions, and private organizations in the US, Africa, and Central/South America to improve legume management on local farms. 

September 11, 2017 Tags: green solutions, Kanazawa, Kramer lab, PhotosynQ

Top Stories

Using Artificial Intelligence to delve into plant cell secrets Using Artificial Intelligence to delve into plant cell secrets

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.

Study links energy metabolism to reduced fertility in overheated bean crops Study links energy metabolism to reduced fertility in overheated bean crops

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.

2021 Anton Lang Memorial Award winners announced 2021 Anton Lang Memorial Award winners announced

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.