Navigation Links
MSU lands $4.1 million grant to unlock plants' biochemistry secrets
Date:4/21/2011

EAST LANSING, Mich. Michigan State University will use a $4.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to unlock plants' biochemistry secrets.

Using cultivated and wild tomato species from the Andes Mountains, Robert Last, MSU Barnett Rosenberg Chair of Biochemistry, will lead a team of plant scientists to uncover how plants evolve to make compounds necessary for their survival.

Last and collaborators, who study functional genomics and how plants produce diverse chemicals and metabolites, will work to determine the specific genes that control chemical evolution and plant metabolism. By focusing on related plants from a specific region in South America, the researchers will be able see how the plant chemistry evolved for protection from the effects of their environment.

"Plants are amazing biochemists as they make hundreds of thousands of compounds, yet we don't know how most of these chemical compounds are produced by the plant or the role of these metabolites in the natural history of species across the kingdom," said Last, an MSU AgBioResearch scientist. "We hope to tie together the chemical phenotypes with selective pressures, including climate, insects and pathogens, to see how their reactions have evolved in the wild."

The grant furthers Last's longtime research on the function of trichomes the fine hairs on plants that are keys to their smell and taste.

"Secreting glandular trichomes are little chemical factories in the plants," Last said. "They are important to smell and taste, and they play a key role in plant survival."

Insight to these plants' mechanisms can help develop strategies to make plants more resistant to disease, insect damage and help increase productivity of cultivated crops.

The grant will also fund an outreach summer program, which will give undergraduate students experience in biochemistry, genetics, metabolomics and the scientific method. The program, which recently became an official NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates site, excels at attracting minority students and connecting them with the labs and resources available only at MSU, Last said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@ur.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study of deer mice on Californias Channel Islands provides new information on hantavirus
2. Ancient trash heaps gave rise to Everglades tree islands
3. Research demonstrates relationship of Texas coastal prairie-pothole wetlands to Galveston Bay
4. NSF funds study of landscape restoration effects on Pennsylvania stream
5. Study: Tiger numbers could triple if large-scale landscapes are protected
6. Islands in the sky: How isolated are mountain top plant populations?
7. Biofuel grasslands better for birds than ethanol staple corn, researchers find
8. Landscape tree disease from 12 wood decay fungi studied
9. Satellites pinpoint drivers of urban heat islands in the northeast
10. Humans helped vultures colonize the Canary Islands
11. Invading weed threatens devastation to western rangelands
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, ... University, a leader in dairy research, today announced a ... to help reduce the chances that the global milk ... of this dairy project, Cornell University has become the ... the Food Supply Chain, a food safety initiative that ...
(Date:5/23/2017)...  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor ... Genoa, Italy . The first 30 robots will be ... USA . The technology was developed and patented at the ... spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur ... ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge ... health organizations, and MD EMR Systems , ... development partner for GE, have established a partnership ... Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, including ... EMR. These new integrations will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The Blavatnik Family ... and six Finalists of the 2017 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists. ... and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences to honor the excellence ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... States multicenter, prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of the FebriDx® ... identifying clinically significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections by testing ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... AMRI, a global contract research, development and manufacturing ... and quality of life, will now be offering its impurity solutions as a ... requirements for all new drug products, including the finalization of ICH M7 earlier ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting ... I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based Advanced Space ... membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER Labs is a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: