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:6/21/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... been appointed to the new role of principal ... has been named the director of customer development. ... , NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect ... development teams in response to high customer demand ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety ... France during the major tournament Teleste, ... communications systems and services, announced today that its video security ... to back up public safety across the country. ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 Perimeter ... Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  ... visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the global ... market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. ... DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware technologies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... announced the funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The ... in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes in ... These data will then be employed to support ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range ... place between the two entities said Poloz. Speaking ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s inflation ... federal government. "In ... "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not sit down ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use ... 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in ... Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio ... practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how ...
Breaking Biology Technology: