Navigation Links
MSU lands $4.1 million grant to unlock plants' biochemistry secrets

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
Michigan State University

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:
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company , ... Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will be ... able to ask questions via voice or text and receive ... Marketers have long sought an advertising ... that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a ... the opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... expand the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... of convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making ... aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While ... machines such as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines ... is the height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in clinical ... Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio revisits ... tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, ... scene to track the criminal down. An outbreak ... and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used ... investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole ...
Breaking Biology Technology: