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Plants and photosynthesis: What's making plants lose their lunch? Plants and photosynthesis: What's making plants lose their lunch?

A new study from Michigan State University is shedding light on how plants could potentially become more efficient at photosynthesis. The long-term implications of this research range from improved agricultural productivity to predicting the effects of climate change.

February 23, 2021 Tags: fundamental research, Walker lab
Josh Vermaas starts faculty position at PRL Josh Vermaas starts faculty position at PRL

Josh Vermaas, the newest addition to the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory faculty body, has begun his assistant professorship this month. Josh is a computational biophysicist whose research interests include developing computational models to better understand membrane processes and plant materials.

January 15, 2021 Tags: Vermaas lab
Berkley Walker Q&A on job market trends for recent grads [LINK] Berkley Walker Q&A on job market trends for recent grads [LINK]

Berkley Walker was part of a panel of experts discussing what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate.

January 14, 2021 Tags: Walker lab
Beronda Montgomery selected as Science Defender by Union of Concerned Scientists [LINK] Beronda Montgomery selected as Science Defender by Union of Concerned Scientists [LINK]

Michigan State University’s Beronda Montgomery, an MSU Foundation Professor, was one of five individuals nominated by the Union of Concerned Scientists as a 2020 Science Defender. Montgomery was cited for her "incredibly important work . . . to ensure that science benefits the common good.”

January 7, 2021 Tags: awards, Montgomery lab
Bringing genomics into the fold--the protein fold [LINK] Bringing genomics into the fold--the protein fold [LINK]

Every fungus, plant and animal on earth is dependent on their cells’ endoplasmic reticulum—a three-dimensional organelle of protein producing and folding tubules—to grow and survive. Federica Brandizzi, MSU Foundation Professor in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Lab, is using powerful genomics tools and a $1.95 million NIH grant to understand how it works with the aim of treating diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer more effectively.

January 4, 2021 Tags: Brandizzi lab
Learning what it takes to grow a space garden Learning what it takes to grow a space garden

With the support of NASA, the lab of Federica Brandizzi has been studying how plants survive in space conditions. A new study starts revealing how a plant system – which helps plants manage various types of Earthly stresses, such as extreme heat – might function in space.

December 21, 2020 Tags: Brandizzi lab
[LINK] Two PRL faculty named 2020 Highly Cited Researchers [LINK] Two PRL faculty named 2020 Highly Cited Researchers

Christoph Benning and Gregg Howe are two of the four MSU College of Natural Science (CNS) researchers named Highly Cited Researchers, an annual compilation of the global leaders in scientific influence by Clarivate Analytics. The linked article features both scientists.

December 16, 2020 Tags: awards, Howe lab, Benning lab
How a plant cell's skeleton helps fight infection [LINK] How a plant cell's skeleton helps fight infection [LINK]

A new study from Michigan State University identifies a missing link which controls plant immunity and plants’ ability to maintain their cytoskeleton – the frame that both gives plant cells their shape and that serves as a highway for materials to move inside these cells.

December 7, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, He lab
Beronda Montgomery awarded prestigious AAAS Fellowship Beronda Montgomery awarded prestigious AAAS Fellowship

Montgomery was awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was recognized for distinguished contributions to plant biology and microbiology, particularly using photobiological analyses to investigate physiological and morphogenic adaptation of photosynthetic organisms.

December 1, 2020 Tags: awards, Montgomery lab
MSU and Rajarata University of Sri Lanka awarded Asian Development Bank grant MSU and Rajarata University of Sri Lanka awarded Asian Development Bank grant

The grant award supports Asian and Pacific universities in their efforts to establish partnerships with renowned foreign universities. Scientists from MSU and Rajarata University will conduct joint activities in the area of smart agriculture, ranging from fundamental genomics and chemistry, to student training and curriculum-based activities.

November 6, 2020 Tags: awards, Kramer lab
Dae Kwan Ko named 2020 MSU Cloud Computing Fellow [LINK] Dae Kwan Ko named 2020 MSU Cloud Computing Fellow [LINK]

The goal of this year’s fellowship is to provide fellows with real world experience in cloud computing and a good understanding of its capabilities and limitations. 

November 6, 2020 Tags: awards, Brandizzi lab
Understanding how algal cells divide when they are hungry Understanding how algal cells divide when they are hungry

A new study delves into how algae manage cell division processes when they suffer from starvation. The finding has implications for biofuel technologies, given that algae have the potential to become a sustainable source of high value oils.

October 8, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Benning lab
2020 Anton Lang Memorial Award winners announced 2020 Anton Lang Memorial Award winners announced

Kellie Walters and Bryan Ferlez were both recognized as scientists who exemplify the research excellence, ideas, dedication, and vision of former PRL director, Anton Lang.

September 30, 2020 Tags: awards, Kerfeld lab
Beronda Montgomery named MSU Office of Research & Innovation interim assistant vice president [LINK] Beronda Montgomery named MSU Office of Research & Innovation interim assistant vice president [LINK]

MSU Foundation Professor, Beronda Montgomery, will bring her talents to the Office of Research & Innovation as interim assistant vice president. She joined the team in a half-time capacity effective Sept. 15, 2020.

September 22, 2020 Tags: Montgomery lab
MSU doctoral student Ethan Thibault awarded prestigious NSF fellowship [LINK] MSU doctoral student Ethan Thibault awarded prestigious NSF fellowship [LINK]

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship is one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive awards for graduate students. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission.

September 11, 2020 Tags: awards, Brandizzi lab
Cheryl Kerfeld video interview: A cell with no lipids: what are the odds? [LINK] Cheryl Kerfeld video interview: A cell with no lipids: what are the odds? [LINK]

Cheryl Kerfeld was recently interviewed by the journal BioTechniques. In the video, she discusses bacterial microcompartments and her work on the Proteo Cell Project, an effort to create the first cell without any lipids present.

September 3, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Kerfeld lab
Newly discovered sugar transporter might help beans tolerate hot temperatures Newly discovered sugar transporter might help beans tolerate hot temperatures

The lab of Thomas D. Sharkey have characterized a sucrose transporter protein found in common beans. The recently discovered protein, called PvSUT1.1, could help us understand how beans tolerate hot temperatures.

August 31, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Sharkey lab
When plants and their microbes are not in sync, the results can be disastrous [LINK] When plants and their microbes are not in sync, the results can be disastrous [LINK]

Sheng Yang He writes about his lab's recent discovery of genes and processes involved in selecting the right microbiome inside plant leaves. The article is featured on The Conversation.

August 28, 2020 Tags: He lab
Josh Vermaas joins MSU as assistant professor Josh Vermaas joins MSU as assistant professor

Josh Vermaas will join Michigan State University on Jan. 1, 2021, as an assistant professor in the field of computational science. He will share his position between the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) in the College of Natural Science.

August 11, 2020 Tags: Vermaas lab
Gaëlle Cassin-Ross featured in ASPB July/August 2020 news [LINK] Gaëlle Cassin-Ross featured in ASPB July/August 2020 news [LINK]

The postdoc from the lab of Sheng Yang He was interviewed for the "Unsung Hereos" section of the Newsletter of the American Society of Plant Biologists.

August 5, 2020 Tags: future scientists, He lab

Top Stories

Plants and photosynthesis: What's making plants lose their lunch? Plants and photosynthesis: What's making plants lose their lunch?

A new study from Michigan State University is shedding light on how plants could potentially become more efficient at photosynthesis. The long-term implications of this research range from improved agricultural productivity to predicting the effects of climate change.

Josh Vermaas starts faculty position at PRL Josh Vermaas starts faculty position at PRL

Josh Vermaas, the newest addition to the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory faculty body, has begun his assistant professorship this month. Josh is a computational biophysicist whose research interests include developing computational models to better understand membrane processes and plant materials.

Learning what it takes to grow a space garden Learning what it takes to grow a space garden

With the support of NASA, the lab of Federica Brandizzi has been studying how plants survive in space conditions. A new study starts revealing how a plant system – which helps plants manage various types of Earthly stresses, such as extreme heat – might function in space.