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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
Thomas Sharkey receives NSF grant to study isoprene emission from plants Thomas Sharkey receives NSF grant to study isoprene emission from plants

The four-year, $898,946 grant from the National Science Foundation will allow Sharkey to continue his research on the evolutionary pattern of the appearance and loss of isoprene emission among various land plants and the impact of these emissions have on the atmosphere.

August 4, 2020 Tags: awards, Sharkey lab
PRL alumnus Zhi-Yan Du joins University of Hawaii as assistant professor PRL alumnus Zhi-Yan Du joins University of Hawaii as assistant professor

Du, a former postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Christoph Benning, will start a new position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu.

July 23, 2020 Tags: future scientists, Benning lab
Improving Photosynthesis: The Final Frontier? [LINK] Improving Photosynthesis: The Final Frontier? [LINK]

This long-from article details how our scientists are working to unlock the secrets of photosynthesis, an effort which might spur an agricultural revolution and lead to innovative energy and industrial technologies. The article appears in Futures, a magazine produced twice per year by Michigan State University AgBioResearch.

July 16, 2020 Tags: green solutions, fundamental research
NSF-funded project explores plant metabolism links to climate change, human nutrition NSF-funded project explores plant metabolism links to climate change, human nutrition

MSU plant biologist Berkley Walker is part of a team of scientists that is using a 3-year, $1.4 million National Science Foundation  Molecular and Cellular Biosciences award to explore the intersection between photorespiration and one-carbon metabolism, two plant biochemical processes that are critical to plant growth and human nutrition.

July 15, 2020 Tags: awards, Walker lab
Harnessing the power of biology: Scientists 'go the distance' in electron transfer study Harnessing the power of biology: Scientists 'go the distance' in electron transfer study

The work explores how electrons can move across long distances within biomaterials, such as proteins. Understanding the factors that control electron transfer in a biological context is critical to advances in diverse fields, including bioenergy, biosynthesis and disease.

July 6, 2020 Tags: fundamental research, Kramer lab, 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.