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[LINK] Sheng Yang He featured in National Geographic [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.

January 10, 2020 Tags: He lab
Berkley Walker: trying to improve bioenergy crops with 'big picture' math models 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.

January 8, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Walker lab
Identifying a plant cell barrier to breeding more nutritious crops 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.

December 18, 2019 Tags: fundamental research, Brandizzi lab
Two PRL undergraduates win Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Departmental awards Two PRL undergraduates win Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Departmental awards

Chase Lindeboom and Hainite Tuitupou will earn stipends in support of their education and will officially receive their awards at banquet which will take place in April 2020.

December 11, 2019 Tags: awards, Kramer lab, Benning lab
Chasing order beyond the realm of the visible: a new tool tidies up molecules at the nano level [VIDEO] 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.

December 9, 2019 Tags: Ducat lab, fundamental research
Cheryl Kerfeld named AAAS Fellow Cheryl Kerfeld named AAAS Fellow

The honor, bestowed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recognizes members for extraordinary achievements in advancing science.

November 26, 2019 Tags: awards, Kerfeld lab
Three faculty named 2019 Highly Cited Researchers Three faculty named 2019 Highly Cited Researchers

The Highly Cited Researchers list, compiled by Clarivate Analytics, includes scientists who have been most cited by peers over the past decade. In 2019, fewer than 0.1% of the world's researchers have earned this exclusive distinction.

November 21, 2019 Tags: Howe lab, He lab, Benning lab
Unlikely gathering of scientists generates extraordinary research team, idea - the fat free cell 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.

November 7, 2019 Tags: awards, Kerfeld lab
Ya-Shiuan Lai wins 2019 Kende Award Ya-Shiuan Lai wins 2019 Kende Award

The award recognizes the best doctoral dissertation in the plant sciences at Michigan State University over the last two years.

October 24, 2019 Tags: Brandizzi lab, awards
Identifying a cyanobacterial gene family that helps control photosynthesis 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. 

September 30, 2019 Tags: fundamental research, Lechno-Yossef, Kerfeld lab
[LINK] Grad student, Anastasiya Lavell, talks mentoring and chloroplasts on Impact 89FM [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.

August 27, 2019 Tags: fundamental research, future scientists, Benning lab
Bethany Huot starts new position at MSU Department of Biological Sciences Bethany Huot starts new position at MSU Department of Biological Sciences

The post-doc from the He lab was will incorporate her “Strategic Career Management” ideas - the path to become the most attractive candidate for one's dream job - into the program.

August 1, 2019 Tags: He lab, future scientists
Christoph Benning is named University Distinguished Professor Christoph Benning is named University Distinguished Professor

The title, among the highest honors that can be bestowed by the university, is for faculty who are recognized nationally and internationally for the importance of their teaching, research, and outreach achievements.

July 22, 2019 Tags: Benning lab, awards
These algae can live inside fungi. It could be how land plants first evolved. These algae can live inside fungi. It could be how land plants first evolved.

Marine algae, the evolutionary ancestors of plants, could have hitched a ride with fungi to make it onto dry land.

July 17, 2019 Tags: Benning lab, fundamental research
Plants can crash when photosynthesis rates are high. This is one way they slow down. Plants can crash when photosynthesis rates are high. This is one way they slow down.

High levels of photosynthetic productivity can dangerously alter a plant cell's chemical balance. GPT2 is a sort of 'brake' that helps recycle and store extra resources that are produced during those times.

July 9, 2019 Tags: Weise, Sharkey lab, fundamental research
[VIDEO] A new way to 'hoard' resources in nano-sized factories targeted for biotech [VIDEO] A new way to 'hoard' resources in nano-sized factories targeted for biotech

'Hoarding' resources in the same location encourages more efficient chemical reactions. Someday, we could use this system to enhance the production of rubber, biofuels, and other commodities.

June 4, 2019 Tags: Kerfeld lab, green solutions
[LINK] He lab in The Economist: Understanding how crop diseases and climate change interact [LINK] He lab in The Economist: Understanding how crop diseases and climate change interact

The rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is mixed news for farmers. Although it is a cause for disruptions in weather patterns, it is also a source of more fuel for photosynthesis and therefore enhanced growth - up to 40%.

May 31, 2019 Tags: fundamental research, He lab
Christian Danve Castroverde joins Wilfrid Laurier University as Assistant Professor Christian Danve Castroverde joins Wilfrid Laurier University as Assistant Professor

The postdoc from the He lab will investigate plant immune responses under various environmental and abiotic stresses in model organisms and crop plants.

May 30, 2019 Tags: future scientists, He lab
Altering how cyanobacteria capture light from the sun can impact their health Altering how cyanobacteria capture light from the sun can impact their health

Various ways of affecting light-capturing antennae can cause cyanobacteria to either remain content or become stressed. The different responses depend on the species and the nature of the modification.

May 29, 2019 Tags: fundamental research, Montgomery lab
[LINK] Ducat receives prestigious NSF Early CAREER Award [LINK] Ducat receives prestigious NSF Early CAREER Award

Ducat has received $1,033,970 to investigate the interactions that underpin resilient microbial partnerships and that may be key to solving some of the earth’s biggest resource challenges.

May 28, 2019 Tags: awards, Ducat lab

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.