A slew of student awards in July
Li Zhang, a PhD student in the He lab, was awarded the 2016 Bessey Best Publication Award from the Plant Biology Graduate Committee for her work on plant defense against pathogens. The award is for grad students who have published a first-authored paper in the calendar year, based on research carried out primarily during graduate studies at MSU.
Adam Seroka, Alshae Logan, and Evan Angelos were each awarded The Plant Biotechnology Health and Sustainability Fellowship. This NIH funded program supports researchers interested in advancing plant science for the betterment of mankind, either by directly improving health and nutrition or by aiding in sustainable agricultural practices. Among the benefits of winning the award is an internship at an industry, non-governmental, or governmental institution. Current industry partners include Neogen, Syngenta, and Lucigen, among other big names. Go here for more program information.
Adam, from the He lab, is examining the regulatory mechanism underlying plant movement in response to biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) stimuli.
Alshae, from the Montgomery lab, is studying a recently discovered second messenger molecule, cyclic-di-AMP, which might play a central role in combating stress from osmosis, a stress that is becoming a common problem for cyanobacteria in their habitats.
Evan, from the Brandizzi lab, is collaborating with NASA scientists to see how plants respond to gravity changes and spaceflight. He will be launching mutant plants to the International Space Station on Space-X Flight 12 in June 2017 to understand why plants do not grow well in space. In other words… space plants!
The protein, peroxiredoxin Q, is known to maintain a healthy balance of chemicals and energy levels in chloroplasts. The new research shows the protein also impacts the system that produces chloroplast membranes.
The CAMTA system - which is known to protect plants from cold weather - plays a newly discovered role: when bacteria invade a leaf, CAMTA warns neighboring, unaffected leaves to prepare for invasion.
When algae get stressed, they hibernate and store energy in forms that we can use to make biofuels. Understanding how stress impacts algal hibernation could help scientists lower the cost of biofuels production.