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Protecting photosynthesis from stalling: a 24-hr molecular hotline Protecting photosynthesis from stalling: a 24-hr molecular hotline

The enzyme, G6PDH, diverts and pumps resources into the Calvin-Benson cycle at critical moments to keep the cycle active and, by extension, plants happy and healthy.  

May 20, 2019 Tags: fundamental research, Sharkey lab
Gutter Ball 25: Tony Schilmiller claims third championship Gutter Ball 25: Tony Schilmiller claims third championship

The PRL celebrated 25 years of bowling. Over 100 MSU staff, faculty, and students took over City Limits Bowling Center to vie for the ultimate prize: Gutter Ball 25 Champion!

May 20, 2019 Tags: outreach
A new rhomboid-like protein that helps plants produce lipids A new rhomboid-like protein that helps plants produce lipids

Rhomboid-like proteins are found across a large number of organisms, like bacteria, flies, and humans. This is the first time such a protein – and how it influences lipid production and transport – has been studied in detail in plants.

May 14, 2019 Tags: fundamental research, Benning lab
2019 Anton Lang Memorial Award Winners Announced 2019 Anton Lang Memorial Award Winners Announced

Luciana Renna and Ben Mansfeld were both recognized as scientists who exemplify the research excellence, ideas, dedication, and vision of former PRL director, Anton Lang.

May 9, 2019 Tags: awards, Brandizzi lab, future scientists
Barb Sears receives Faculty Emeriti Association award Barb Sears receives Faculty Emeriti Association award

Dr. Sears, an MSU Faculty Emerita retired from the Department of Plant Biology, was awarded the 2019 MSU Faculty Emeriti Association Award for "Outstanding Contributions by an Individual."

April 30, 2019 Tags: awards, Benning lab
Simpler & smaller: a new synthetic nanofactory inspired by nature Simpler & smaller: a new synthetic nanofactory inspired by nature

The genetically engineered shell is based on natural structures and the principles of protein evolution. Scientists see such structures as a source of new industrial or medical technologies.

April 29, 2019 Tags: Kerfeld lab, fundamental research
MSU scientists teach kids about plant defense at MSU Science Festival 2019 MSU scientists teach kids about plant defense at MSU Science Festival 2019

4th to 6th graders got to learn about plant defense mechanisms and the scientific method. Leah Johnson, lead organizer, reflects on the event in an interview.

April 25, 2019 Tags: outreach, Howe lab
Anastasiya Lavell wins BMB Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award Anastasiya Lavell wins BMB Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award

The award is given to a student for exceptional performance as a graduate teaching assistant during his or her graduate program.

April 22, 2019 Tags: awards, Benning lab, future scientists
Two PRL students win first prize at UURAF 2019 Two PRL students win first prize at UURAF 2019

Madeline Bresson from the Sharkey lab and Jacob Wright from the Ducat lab have each won first prize at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum. Both were recognized for their poster presentations.

April 19, 2019 Tags: future scientists, awards, Sharkey lab, Ducat lab
Explore the Science and Art of Plants at Third Annual Fascination of Plants Day @ MSU: Arts Go Green Explore the Science and Art of Plants at Third Annual Fascination of Plants Day @ MSU: Arts Go Green

MSU hosts the third annual Fascination of Plants Day @ MSU. This year, plant sciences meet the arts in a collaboration between MSU plant scientists, the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, and the East Lansing Art Festival.

April 9, 2019 Tags: outreach
Our first look at a new light absorbing protein in cyanobacteria Our first look at a new light absorbing protein in cyanobacteria

The HCP2 protein is an ancestor of proteins that are known to protect against damage caused by excess light exposure. The study is the first of its kind to structurally and biophysically analyze a protein from the recently discovered HCP family.

April 2, 2019 Tags: fundamental research, Kerfeld lab
[LINK] Ducat featured as essential reading for stemming the tide of trash [LINK] Ducat featured as essential reading for stemming the tide of trash

The Ducat lab's research on bioplastics is featured in a recent article in the online publication, The Conversation.

April 1, 2019 Tags: outreach, Ducat lab
MSU students win at 2019 ASPB Midwest Meeting MSU students win at 2019 ASPB Midwest Meeting

The American Society of Plant Biologists meeting was a chance to practice presentation skills and meet plant biologists from across the Midwest.

March 27, 2019 Tags: future scientists, Benning lab
Keeping plants nourished: the workings of a photosynthesis backup system Keeping plants nourished: the workings of a photosynthesis backup system

Plants use the shunt to quickly reboot the Calvin-Benson cycle, the crucial process that makes their food and nourishes the planet's food chain.

March 25, 2019 Tags: Sharkey lab, fundamental research
Faculty voice: Christian Danve Castroverde: Striving for harmony Faculty voice: Christian Danve Castroverde: Striving for harmony

Recently awarded a fellowship by NSERC, Danve muses on the value of relationships to personal and scientific endeavors.

March 20, 2019 Tags: future scientists, He lab
[LINK] Brandizzi lab to study the effect of space flight on seeds [LINK] Brandizzi lab to study the effect of space flight on seeds

The goal is to help increase the nutritional value of plants grown in spaceflight. The seeds will be on NASA's Orion spacecraft, on its maiden voyage to the moon and back.

March 18, 2019 Tags: fundamental research, Brandizzi lab
Student view: Brandon Rohnke: Advocating for science Student view: Brandon Rohnke: Advocating for science

Brandon Rohnke, a graduate student in the Montgomery lab, reflects on his recent trip to the U.S. Capitol to meet with the staff of seven legislators.

March 6, 2019 Tags: Montgomery lab, future scientists
Two PRL grad students advocate for science on Capitol Hill Two PRL grad students advocate for science on Capitol Hill

Our students were part of a MSU team that met with staff at the offices of Senator Peters, Senator Stabenow, Representative Slotkin and four other representatives to advocate for science funding.

February 21, 2019 Tags: Kerfeld lab, Montgomery lab, future scientists
Harnessing synthetic biology to co-produce high-value terpenoid biomaterials and biofuel in plants Harnessing synthetic biology to co-produce high-value terpenoid biomaterials and biofuel in plants

The new synthetic biology tools allow to produce both terpenoids and oil, a biofuel resource, in plant leaves.

February 20, 2019 Tags: Benning lab, green solutions
Faculty Voice: Berkley Walker: Beneath the ski mask Faculty Voice: Berkley Walker: Beneath the ski mask

Recently, our own Berkley Walker was recorded skiing across campus on the eve of a polar vortex. That recording went viral. Read why he thinks plants are even hardier than he was that day.

February 14, 2019 Tags: Walker lab, outreach

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.