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News

 

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
The highs and lows of scientific research The highs and lows of scientific research

An under the hood look at the science behind the He lab's latest discovery: the establishment of a connection between high humidity levels and bacterial plant disease.

December 5, 2016 Tags: He lab, future scientists, fundamental research
Just add water: New discovery in plant-disease mechanism Just add water: New discovery in plant-disease mechanism

New research from the He lab has found that too much rain, coupled with prolonged high levels of humidity, can result in more plant disease.

November 30, 2016 Tags: He lab, fundamental research
Discovering what keeps cellular cargo on track Discovering what keeps cellular cargo on track

The Brandizzi lab have identified how plants’ largest cell factory moves to maintain vital functions, which could lead to advances in improving plant cells’ critical functions and growing better crops.

November 17, 2016 Tags: Brandizzi lab, fundamental research
The dangers of overcharging your plants The dangers of overcharging your plants

Capturing light to produce energy is a dangerous business for plants. The Kramer lab has discovered one important reason why, in their search for ways to improve crop yields.

October 4, 2016 Tags: Kramer lab, fundamental research
Plants have their cake and eat it too Plants have their cake and eat it too

Scientists have thought for a long time now that plants don’t do a good job growing and defending at the same time. The Howe lab has created a plant that does both.

August 30, 2016 Tags: Howe lab, fundamental research
Kerfeld lab reveals a new light-responsive protein family Kerfeld lab reveals a new light-responsive protein family

These ancient proteins will both add to our knowledge of the evolution of photosynthesis and open exciting doors to applications in fields like medicine and biotechnology.

August 24, 2016 Tags: Kerfeld lab, fundamental research
Acidification tells plants it's deadly freezing Acidification tells plants it's deadly freezing

The warning causes plants to protect their energy factories from freezing temperatures. This discovery will help increase both the economic feasibility of renewable energies and plant yields.

July 18, 2016 Tags: Benning lab, fundamental research

Top Stories

Why this promising biofuel crop takes a summer break Why this promising biofuel crop takes a summer break

By explaining a photosynthetic peculiarity in switchgrass, MSU researchers from the Walker lab may have unlocked even more of the plant’s potential.

Untying molecular knots: Making molecular simulations more efficient with LongBondEliminator Untying molecular knots: Making molecular simulations more efficient with LongBondEliminator

Researchers from the Vermaas lab created a more efficient tool to solve the problem of ring piercings in molecular simulations. This work is published in Biomolecules.

From colleagues to collaborators, a cross-department conversation links statistics to plant science From colleagues to collaborators, a cross-department conversation links statistics to plant science

Complicated sets of biological data can be challenging to extrapolate meaningful information from. Wanting to find a better way to look at this data led Berkley Walker, assistant professor at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, to team up with statistician and Assistant Professor Chih-Li Sung from the Department of Statistics and Probability.