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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.

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.

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.

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. 

Tags: Benning lab
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.

Tags: awards He lab
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.

A common metabolic currency tunes growth-defense balance in plants

In plants, elevated defense tends to inhibit plant growth. New research suggests plants have a metabolism-sensing mechanism that may mediate between growth and defense functions.

How plants tune their greenness to light quality in their surroundings

New research is refining our understanding of how light wavelengths impact how plants develop their chloroplasts.

Plant protein helps control both chloroplast's chemistry and lipid membrane

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.

Leaf under attack from bacteria? One way plants stop the spread of infection

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.

A protein lulls algae to 'sleep', and what that means for making green fuels

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.

Insect bites + Warmer climate = Double trouble for plants [VIDEO]

Recent models are telling us that, as our climate warms up, pests will cause more damage to crops. But these models do not factor how infested plants react to rising temperatures. If we do, plants may suffer a worse fate.

Taming electrons with bacteria parts and a little 'blood' - a new synthetic biology system [VIDEO]

When electrons move, they are the electricity that powers life. But they are hard to pin down. The newly engineered system could guide electron transfer over long distances, powering future applications in medicine or 'green' fuel production.

[LINK] Sheng Yang He featured in National Geographic

The article revolves around an exhibit at the Harvard Museum of Natural History on our food supply’s vulnerability to plant disease, using an unconventional conduit: early 20th-century glass models of rotting fruit.

Tags: He lab
Berkley Walker: trying to improve bioenergy crops with 'big picture' math models

Berkley Walker's DNA synthesis proposal has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, to study how high temperatures impact plant enzymes that support photosynthesis.

Identifying a plant cell barrier to breeding more nutritious crops

For decades, scientists have unsuccessfully tried to dial up amino acid production in crops. One roadblock might be the target of rapamycin (TOR) protein, which detects nutrient availability in plant cells in order to control cell growth and metabolism.

Chasing order beyond the realm of the visible: a new tool tidies up molecules at the nano level [VIDEO]

A protein from cyanobacteria has been redesigned into a homing beacon to attract molecular payloads. The long-term goal: to organize resources inside living cells for medical or industrial applications.

Unlikely gathering of scientists generates extraordinary research team, idea - the fat free cell

Cheryl Kerfeld will lead a team of five research groups in a $3.4 million NSF Understanding the Rules of Life grant to engineer a synthetic cell. The aim is to tackle two key science and engineering research areas: building a synthetic cell and epigenetics.

Identifying a cyanobacterial gene family that helps control photosynthesis

The new gene family helps control carbon dioxide fixation, which is the first step towards making high-energy molecules that feed the planet's organisms. 

[LINK] Grad student, Anastasiya Lavell, talks mentoring and chloroplasts on Impact 89FM

The Benning lab student was a guest on The Sci-Files podcast, where she addressed her research on a protein that seems to be important for lipid regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana chloroplasts.

Top Stories

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.

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.

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.