Fighting plant disease at warm temperatures keeps food on the table [VIDEO]
Plant disease is one of the most important causes of crop loss worldwide, and pathogenic bacteria and unfavorable climate are two major culprits.
Sometimes, climate and bacteria come together, with devastating consequences.
One of the best historical examples of this is the Irish Potato Famine. Beginning in 1845, Ireland experienced the “perfect storm” of unusually cool, damp weather that provided prime growing conditions for an exotic pathogen that destroyed the potato crop. With their primary food source ravaged by disease, a million Irish people died from the ensuing famine.
On the other end of the thermometer, warmer temperatures also can cause extensive crop loss.
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The NRT program at Michigan State University, funded by the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship program, trains doctoral students in applying computational data science approaches to solving problems in plant biology.
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, 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.