Minuscule tunnels through the cell membrane help cells to perceive and respond to mechanical forces, such as pressure or touch. Using tip-growing cells in moss and pollen tubes of flowering plants, a new study is among the first to directly investigate what one type of these mechanosensitive ion channels — PIEZO channels — is doing in plant cells, and how.
Did you know our x-ray computer tomography (x-ray CT) facility is one of the only X-ray imaging facilities in North America that is solely devoted to studying plant biology?
: Plants synthesize thousands of metabolites that help them adapt to their environments. Mass spectrometry can detect and measure metabolites in a sample, but this is difficult with complex samples. One solution is to add labeled chemicals to a sample. This research developed an easy-to-use computational tool that locates labeled chemicals, simplifying analysis.
A breakthrough technology uses nanoscale sensors and fiber optics to measure water status just inside a leaf’s surface, providing a tool to greatly advance our understanding of basic plant biology, and opening the door for breeding more drought-resistant crops.
The diverse collection of microbes known as protists are understudied, but their impact on ecosystems and agriculture could be huge.
Climate change is altering the world we share with all living things. But it’s surprisingly difficult to single out climate change as an extinction threat for any one particular species protected under the Endangered Species Act. To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has only formally considered impacts from climate change in listing actions for four animal species and one alpine tree.
Scientists have identified proteins in aphid saliva that can alter plant development. These proteins drive abnormal growths called galls, which give insects a protected place to feed and reproduce.
A Cornell University project will develop worm-like, soil-swimming robots to sense and record soil properties, water, the soil microbiome and how roots grow.
Researchers have identified the first key biological switch that sounds an alarm in plants when plant-eating animals attack. The mechanism will help unlock a trove of new strategies for improved plant health, from countering crop pest damage to engineering more robust global food webs.
Plants have sophisticated defense mechanisms that activate specific genes in response to specific pathogens. Scientists investigated the tradeoffs in plant defenses against two pathogens. They identified a protein in Arabidopsis plants that regulates genes involved in pathogen response to target defenses.
Deprived of sunlight, plants are unable to transform carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into sugars. They are essentially starved of one of their most important building blocks. New research with maize shows that plants that lack the core components for autophagy have to get creative about recycling nutrients like carbon when they’re left in the dark.
Cornell University scientists have engineered a key plant enzyme and introduced it in Escherichia coli bacteria in order to create an optimal experimental environment for studying how to speed up photosynthesis, a holy grail for improving crop yields.
The National Science Foundation recently awarded Margaret Frank, assistant professor of plant biology at Cornell University, a $1.3 million Faculty Early Career Development Program grant for her study of mRNA communication in plants.
After working on a climate change experiment that showed plants adapt to additional carbon dioxide by putting extra carbon into their roots, Colleen Iverson has been on a mission to understand the role of roots in the environment, especially the tundra.
Plants emit gases like methanol and acetic acid that are not directly related to photosynthesis but that have an unknown origin. Researchers have found a possible source: natural chemical modification in the cellulose in plant cell walls and accompanying metabolic changes.
Plant biologists have developed a nanosensor that monitors mechanisms related to stress and drought. The new biosensor allows researchers to analyze changes in real time involving specific kinases, which are known to be activated in response to drought conditions.
Jonathan Schilling is a professor in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology at the University of Minnesota. He is also the director of the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories in northern Minnesota.
Cornell University plant biologist Michael Scanlon received a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program to continue his research on the process of shoot development in maize.
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), plant genomic scientists at New York University’s Center for Genomics & Systems Biology discovered the missing piece in the molecular link between a plant’s perception of the nitrogen dose in its environment and the dose-responsive changes in its biomass.
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced that Elizabeth (Toby) Kellogg, Ph.D., Robert E. King Distinguished Investigator and member of the Danforth Center, was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
Northern Michigan University will begin offering an indoor agriculture associate degree program this fall. Through a hands-on, multidisciplinary approach, graduates learn equally about plant biology and the construction/maintenance of indoor growing systems, preparing them for a variety of career opportunities.
New York University biologists captured highly transient interactions between transcription factors—proteins that control gene expression—and target genes in the genome and showed that these typically missed interactions have important practical implications. In a new study published in Nature Communications, the researchers developed a method to capture transient interactions of NLP7, a master transcription factor involved in nitrogen use in plants, revealing that the majority of a plant’s response to nitrogen is controlled by these short-lived regulatory interactions.