News

When lipids meet hormones: plants' answer to complex stresses

How plants harvest their own chloroplasts - photosynthesis machines that make their food - to help defend against outside threats.

Stress tested: how algae change their internal solar panels to stay alive

The natural solar panels constantly grow and shrink in size to adjust to changes in their hosts' environments. Scientists want to tap into this energy source for biofuels and food purposes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Protecting plants from the power of sunlight

Plants, like us, don’t like too much sunlight. The Kramer lab has figured a way to better measure how plants respond to excessive exposure, and the information might help us create more resilient plants.

The ref and the fighter: two sides of plant defense

The Howe lab delves into how defense genes do more than just fight. They also tangle with growth functions.

How to build an artificial nano-factory to power our futures

The Kerfeld lab has analyzed over 200 sets of cyanobacteria DNA. This knowledge is getting us closer to understanding how to build synthetic factories that will someday produce green fuels or products used to diagnose diseases.

Growing pains and how that might affect seed quality

The Brandizzi lab is showing how extreme heat negatively impacts seed quality in plants targeted for producing biofuels.

Looking deeper into peroxisome proliferation

The Hu lab has identified a new protein that helps control how little cellular factories, called peroxisomes, divide and proliferate.

A thousand tales of plant defense

The He lab has completed an unprecedented study of over 1000 plant varieties to tease out their major defense systems against bacteria.

Unpacking a new bacterial mini-factory

The new compartment, widely spread among different kinds of bacteria, might be reassembled to someday sustainably produce “green” chemicals, medicines, and renewable energy.

Growth-defense gene pulls many strings in plant cell factories

The Brandizzi lab has demonstrated how one master gene fine-tunes how massive protein factories in plant cells allocate resources to growth and defense functions.