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Plant "ER": Advanced genomics illuminate new mechanisms for stress mitigation Plant "ER": Advanced genomics illuminate new mechanisms for stress mitigation

As our planet’s climate continues to be unpredictable, understanding how plants respond to adverse environmental conditions becomes essential. Improving crop productivity will be vital to feed the nine billion people estimated to be alive in 2050.

May 16, 2022 Tags: fundamental research, Brandizzi lab
Building 'nanofactories' to help make medicines and more [LINK] Building 'nanofactories' to help make medicines and more [LINK]

Spartan research in the lab of Cheryl Kerfeld could lead to efficient, low-cost chemical reactions for valuable products with help from teensy compartments made by bacteria.

April 27, 2022 Tags: fundamental research, Kerfeld lab
Unboxing of cyanobacterial features: A step toward understanding the dynamics of source/sink in photosynthesis microbes Unboxing of cyanobacterial features: A step toward understanding the dynamics of source/sink in photosynthesis microbes

A new study from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) brings fresh insight on the source/sink balance of cyanobacteria and paves the way for further advancements in photosynthetic microbes for potential applications.

March 2, 2022 Tags: Ducat lab
Flip the switch: Looking at how algae activate cell cycles Flip the switch: Looking at how algae activate cell cycles

Researchers from the Benning lab at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory have been looking into the signals for activating different states of the cell cycle in microalga, which has potential applications for future biofuel production and cancer research. 

February 17, 2022 Tags: Benning lab
Making plants more productive [LINK] Making plants more productive [LINK]

It’s estimated that by 2050, the global population could reach 9 billion. With limited natural resources, feeding, clothing and providing materials to support that many people will be challenging. In Federica Brandizzi’s lab at Michigan State University, she and her colleagues are finding ways to make plants part of the solution.

January 26, 2022 Tags: Brandizzi lab
Plants get stressed too. We're looking at thousands of genes to understand how they manage it. Plants get stressed too. We're looking at thousands of genes to understand how they manage it.

MSU scientists have developed a new gene discovery method that is helping them to understand how plants recover from stressful situations in their environments.

January 12, 2022 Tags: Brandizzi lab
How do algae survive excess oxygen? Recent discovery gives clues to boost biofuel production How do algae survive excess oxygen? Recent discovery gives clues to boost biofuel production

A new study from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) shows how some algae can protect themselves when the oxygen they produce impairs their photosynthetic activity. The discovery also answers a long-standing question about how algae survive when CO2 levels are low.

December 22, 2021 Tags: Kramer lab
New limitations to photosynthesis discovered by observing plants in the real world New limitations to photosynthesis discovered by observing plants in the real world

Using innovative methodologies that combine biology and statistics, researchers from the Kramer lab at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) observe the ways plants respond to their natural environments.

December 15, 2021 Tags: Kanazawa, Kramer lab
Photon to plate: How increasing the photosynthetic efficiency of potatoes could lead to a greener future Photon to plate: How increasing the photosynthetic efficiency of potatoes could lead to a greener future

Improving the photosynthetic power-plants in crops could mean using less fossil fuel derived energy supplements in crop cultivation and lead to a second Green Revolution, a new life-cycle assessment (LCA) from the Walker lab at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL), finds.

December 3, 2021 Tags: Walker lab
PRL community celebrates research at 2021 retreat event PRL community celebrates research at 2021 retreat event

For the first time in two years, the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) community gathered to share the exciting research  conducted by the different groups at the 2021 PRL Retreat.

November 2, 2021
Recently discovered protein enhances understanding of photosynthesis Recently discovered protein enhances understanding of photosynthesis

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

September 30, 2021 Tags: Benning lab
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.

May 20, 2021 Tags: fundamental research, Hu lab
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.

May 13, 2021 Tags: fundamental research, Sharkey lab
Can crops become more efficient? [LINK] Can crops become more efficient? [LINK]

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.

March 16, 2021 Tags: fundamental research, Walker lab
Plants and photosynthesis: What's making plants lose their lunch? Plants and photosynthesis: What's making plants lose their lunch?

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.

February 23, 2021 Tags: fundamental research, Walker lab
Learning what it takes to grow a space garden Learning what it takes to grow a space garden

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.

December 21, 2020 Tags: Brandizzi lab
MSU and Rajarata University of Sri Lanka awarded Asian Development Bank grant MSU and Rajarata University of Sri Lanka awarded Asian Development Bank grant

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.

November 6, 2020 Tags: awards, Kramer lab
Understanding how algal cells divide when they are hungry Understanding how algal cells divide when they are hungry

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.

October 8, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Benning lab
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

Top Stories

MSU's Jianping Hu receives NSF grant to shed light on plant growth, reproduction MSU's Jianping Hu receives NSF grant to shed light on plant growth, reproduction

Jianping Hu, professor at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) and the Department of Plant Biology, received a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the motility of cellular energy organelles, peroxisomes and mitochondria in particular, along the cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Plant "ER": Advanced genomics illuminate new mechanisms for stress mitigation Plant "ER": Advanced genomics illuminate new mechanisms for stress mitigation

As our planet’s climate continues to be unpredictable, understanding how plants respond to adverse environmental conditions becomes essential. Improving crop productivity will be vital to feed the nine billion people estimated to be alive in 2050.

2022 Anton Lang Memorial Award winners announced 2022 Anton Lang Memorial Award winners announced

Grad student Philip Engelgau and postdoc Peipei Wang have been awarded the 2022 Anton Lang Memorial Award at a ceremony which took place on Monday, April 25, 2022. This year’s lecture was given by Professor Emeritus Govindjee from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.