Brief overviews of some of the PRL's latest research projects. For more news, explore the feature stories on the News page.
This study shows that plant genes called MYCs which are known for their role in promoting stress responses, potently inhibit growth and seed production.August 12, 2022
The new field of phytonanotechnology, which involves the use of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) to enhance/alter plant systems, promises to have an immense impact on critical global problems related to climate change and the scale of food production.August 9, 2022
Integrating single particle cryo-electron microscopy (EM) and molecular dynamics (MD) has made a paradigm shift to the field of structural biology in order to determine both structure and function of biomolecules.March 7, 2022
Whole-molecule carbon isotope ratios (13C/12C) enable assessments of plant carbon uptake yet conceal information about carbon allocation.January 31, 2022
Two metabolic pathways introduced into cyanobacteria increase its photosynthesis performance and provide partial protection from negative effects of excess light absorption.March 9, 2021
Scientists have identified new transcription factor networks and their dynamic activities that protect the endoplasmic reticulum in situations requiring the production of large quantities of proteins.October 26, 2020
The work is the first structural description of a carotenoid binding protein called C-terminal domain-like carotenoid protein.October 2, 2020
Isoprene and photosynthetic metabolism labeling experiments provided evidence that glucose is recycled back into photosynthetic metabolism.August 25, 2020
A new study increases our understanding of the biosynthesis of xyloglucan, one of the most common polysaccharides in plant primary cell walls.August 3, 2020
The latest advances in cryo-electron tomography were used to image photosynthetic protein complexes embedded within native thylakoid membranes inside the cell.May 14, 2020
Increasing the efficiency of the ATP synthase could lead to ROS production. This has important implications for synthetic biology efforts to alter photosynthetic efficiency by engineering the ATP synthase.March 5, 2020
Protein modeling in cyanobacteria predicts binding interactions between rubisco and proteins with homology to the small subunit of rubisco.March 2, 2020
The Kerfeld lab has engineered a bacterial shell protein to incorporate copper for electron transfer activity. Harnessing natural biological processes to synthesize new materials is key for developing future functional bioreactors and biomaterials.January 28, 2020
The protein IRE1C, a variant of the conserved IRE1 family, has been newly identified. It is indispensable for producing plant reproductive cells when another variant, IRE1B, is depleted.December 13, 2019
The Sharkey lab reports a correction for non-photosynthetic absorption of light in calculations of electron transport. Fluorescence measurements of electron transport are one way to determine crop productivity.October 15, 2019
Graduate student Hannah Parks and postdoctoral researcher María Santos Merino have been awarded the 2023 Anton Lang Memorial Awards at a ceremony which took place on Monday, April 24, 2023. This year’s lecture was given by University Distinguished Professor Thomas D. Sharkey from Michigan State University.
Found in acidic volcanic hot springs, the extremophilic alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae contains a unique process that allows them to survive in extreme environments. Researchers, led by graduate student Anne Steensma from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, are looking at this process and its potential to change how we understand the ways photosynthetic organisms adapt to environmental challenges like high temperatures.
By explaining a photosynthetic peculiarity in switchgrass, MSU researchers from the Walker lab may have unlocked even more of the plant’s potential.