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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
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
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
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
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
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
Protecting plants from the power of sunlight 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.

July 13, 2017 Tags: Kramer lab, fundamental research
The ref and the fighter: two sides of plant defense 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.

July 5, 2017 Tags: Howe lab, fundamental research
How to build an artificial nano-factory to power our futures 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.

June 14, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, fundamental research
Growing pains and how that might affect seed quality 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.

May 16, 2017 Tags: Kim, Brandizzi lab, fundamental research
Looking deeper into peroxisome proliferation 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.

May 2, 2017 Tags: Hu lab, fundamental research
A thousand tales of plant defense 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.

April 25, 2017 Tags: He lab, fundamental research
Unpacking a new bacterial mini-factory 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.

March 30, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, fundamental research
Growth-defense gene pulls many strings in plant cell factories 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.

February 7, 2017 Tags: Brandizzi lab, fundamental research
Investing in cell wall growth for improved photosynthesis Investing in cell wall growth for improved photosynthesis

Changes in leaf cell wall make-up can dramatically affect how large or thick leaves grow. This knowledge may help improve how crops intercept light and exchange gas with the atmosphere.

January 24, 2017 Tags: Weraduwage, Sharkey lab, fundamental research
Scratching the genetic surface of poisonous mushrooms Scratching the genetic surface of poisonous mushrooms

The Walton lab has sequenced the genomes of two species of poisonous Amanita mushrooms, with an eye towards harnessing them for medicinal and biological uses.

January 17, 2017 Tags: Walton lab, fundamental research
How cyanobacteria define their middle point How cyanobacteria define their middle point

The mechanism promotes cell division to ensure daughter cells are healthy and of equal size.

January 11, 2017 Tags: Ducat lab, fundamental research
Understanding a cell part construction manager Understanding a cell part construction manager

The Hu lab has deepened our understanding of how cells build up internal parts responsible for producing and breaking down energy, with an eye towards agricultural and medical solutions.

December 21, 2016 Tags: Hu lab, fundamental research

Top Stories

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

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.