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:2/10/2016)... PUNE, India , February 10, 2016 ... --> According to 2016 iris ... fingerprint identification iris recognition is more widely ... are available with both fingerprint and iris ... allows the user to avoid purchasing two ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 The field ... one of the most popular hubs of the ... and other huge studies of human microbiota, have ... few years, the microbiome space has literally exploded ... research. This report focuses on biomedical aspects ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed in hospitals ... medical screening and diagnostic applications, such as ... that facilitate and assure continuous monitoring without ... being bolstered through new opportunities offered by ... coupled with wireless connectivity and low power ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... , February 11, 2016 ... Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB: PSID), a life ... today that its Thermomedics subsidiary, which markets the ... its growth plan in January 2016, including entering ... increasing sequential monthly sales growth, and establishing several ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA ), a leader ... & Co. Ltd., its partner in the ... an additional CDN$25 million in the joint venture for ... to 40%.  Mitsui will also play a stronger role ... Sarnia , providing dedicated resources alongside BioAmber,s ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... York, New York (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that it has joined the Human ... and immunotherapies for infectious diseases and cancer. , The Human Vaccines ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... HOLLOWAY ... of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor Exhibition on Thursday, ... more than 100 tables for its annual event, which will run from 3:00 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: