Department of Plant Biology

Plant Biology News

September 18, 2017
$10M DOE Grant
$10M DOE Grant

Current seed-oil based bioproduction relies heavily on food crop species, such as soybean, sunflower and canola oil,” said Danny Schnell, MSU plant biologist and grant coordinator. “Camelina doesn’t require as much water as these crops, it grows quicker and it has a higher resistance to pest and disease. By focusing on some key genetic control points, we’re hoping to unlock the relationship between carbon capture and increasing oil and seed production.

September 6, 2017
Tomatoes Crystal Ball
Tomatoes Crystal Ball

Michigan State University’s Robert Last studies tomatoes. Specifically, he researches their hair, or trichomes. For this study, he focused on a single type of molecule in trichomes – acylsugars. The secrets Last and a team of MSU scientists found from studying these specialized metabolites open an evolutionary window for the emerging field of plant defense metabolism, insights that could lead to engineering advances for better pest resistance and human medicine.

September 1, 2017
Potato 2050 Article
Potato 2050 Article

The year 2050 is expected to reach an important milestone in global agriculture: the world population is expected to top 9 billion people, a one-third increase over the current population. Much of this growth will take place in less developed, already food-insecure regions of the world such as Africa. And rising life expectancies are exacerbating the problem.

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