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MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory

Light-Sensitive Proteins Offer Potential ‘Custom’ Health Solutions

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Each cyanobacterium is 25 times smaller than a human hair. We are studying the fundamentals of energy capture and conversion in this organism in order to apply that knowledge for synthetic biology purposes Original by Eric Young.

We are inching closer to the day where we can use light to help cure diseases. The key is harnessing the power of  proteins that are sensitive to light. The Kerfeld…

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Speeding Up Plants’ Production Cycle Can Destroy Them

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Atsuko Kanazawa

For more than 15 years, Atsuko Kanazawa and her colleagues at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) have been working to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis – the process…

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Protecting Plants from the Power of Sunlight

Friday, July 21, 2017
These plants are related, but those that can't manage environmental stress might not survive. Source: Donghee Hoh, Kramer lab

Research is showing that the speed at which plants adjust to changes in their surroundings is vital to their health. But a major problem for scientists has been…

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MSU Researchers Making Progress on Biofuels

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Arabidopsis can make lipids through two sources in plant cells. Half of the precursors come from the chloroplasts (the solar power plant for the plant’s survival) and half from the endoplasmic reticulum, a massive cellular factory.

Sometimes, when a science experiment doesn’t work out, unexpected opportunities open up. That’s what Yang Yang and the lab of Christoph Benning, MSU Foundation Professor and director of the MSU-DOE…

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MSU Researchers Study Plants’ Growth/Defense Switch

Monday, July 10, 2017
plant defenses

A year ago, the lab of Gregg Howe, a Michigan State University Foundation Professor and AgBioResearch scientist, developed a plant that upended a common misconception that plants can…

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New Snapshot of How Bacteria are Organized

Thursday, June 22, 2017

For the first time, scientists have visualized the fine details of bacterial microcompartment shells – the organisms’ submicroscopic nanoreactors, which are comprised completely of protein. The results, led…

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MSU’s ‘Fascination of Plants Day’ Tied to International Initiative

Thursday, June 1, 2017
fascination of plants 2017

Thirty Michigan State University volunteers – grad students, post-docs and faculty – from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Plant Biology, Horticulture,…

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Unpacking a New Bacterial Mini-Factory

Monday, May 22, 2017
The raw material enters the mini-factory. It is processed first by a "signature enzyme," in this case, the GRE. Source: Clement Aussignargues, Kerfeld lab

Many bacteria contain microcompartments that function like mini-factories, efficiently processing compounds for diverse purposes. For example, they sequester toxic intermediates in organisms like the notorious Salmonella and Escherichia;…

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Plant Proteins Found to Control Development

Monday, May 22, 2017
Jianping Hu

The Jianping Hu and her lab have identified a new protein that helps with the division and proliferation of little cellular factories, called peroxisomes. The study is published…

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Plants’ Defenses Reveal Capacity to Fight Disease

Thursday, May 18, 2017

André Velásquez, research associate in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, and colleague Matt Oney wanted to find out how many types of defenses a plant could muster against…

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