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Core leaf-bound microbes identified for two key bioenergy crops


What's New?

Spotting tar spot disease sooner

PRI member Addie Thompson recently received a Bayer Grants4Ag $10,000 award to help farmers detect tar spot, a disease found in maize crops. Using drones equipped with remote sensing technology in the air and taking smartphone images on the ground, her research team is able to more quickly detect, predict and quantify spots.


Congratulations to the first PRI postdoctoral fellows!

We congratulate Daniel N. Anstett, Stephanie Schmiege and Brittni Kelley, the first Plant Resilience Institute Fellows. These post-doctoral fellows were selected on the basis of their excellence and breadth of approach to issues of plant resilience. Each Fellow will be associated with more than one lab and will develop independent projects studying plant resilience.


Building better beans for the future

As climate change threatens global food security, PRI member and University Distinguished Professor Dr. Robin Buell is building better beans crucial to human nutrition by tapping into the genetics of the more heat-resistant tepary bean.


Study links energy metabolism to reduced fertility in overheated bean crops

A new study from the lab of interim PRI director Thomas Sharkey, finds that the activity levels of the carbon metabolism protein, G6PDH, are related to decreased production of pollen in bean flowers. As global temperatures rise, some bean crops, including Michigan-grown varieties, might be more sensitive to higher heat levels.



A new study from the Walker lab, in collaboration with Thomas Sharkey, is shedding light on how plants could potentially become more efficient at photosynthesis. The long-term implications of this research range from improved agricultural productivity to predicting the effects of climate change. The study is published in the journal Plant Physiology.


MSU and Rajarata University of Sri Lanka awarded Asian Development Bank grant

A project led in part by Plant Resilience Institute members Brad Day and David Kramer have been awarded a $250,000 grant by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The grant award supports Asian and Pacific universities in their efforts to establish partnerships with renowned foreign universities. Scientists from MSU and Rajarata University will conduct joint activities in the area of smart agriculture, ranging from fundamental genomics and chemistry, to student training and curriculum-based activities.


A growing world population, coupled with on-going and anticipated climate change, demands accelerated improvements in agricultural productivity. As the pioneer land grant university, Michigan State University has been an international leader in plant science research for the last 50 years. This continues today with the establishment in 2016 of the Plant Resilience Institute (PRI) as part of Michigan State University’s Global Impact Initiative that has a goal of hiring 100 new faculty to accelerate discovery of solutions to grand challenges. Meeting global food needs and improving food security in the face of climate change is one such priority. The mission of the PRI is to enhance plant resilience to environmental challenges including extremes in weather and climate change, and to become a “Center of Excellence” for foundational and translational plant research aimed at increasing the productivity and quality of food and energy crops.

arabidopsis thalianaPink Flowers in the Lab HarvestRootsclose up of beansswitchgrassTomato Horn Worm lab experiementWhite flowers