In the past 150 years, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 410 ppm. For farmers this is mixed news. Any change in familiar weather patterns caused by the atmospheric warming this rise is bringing is bound to be disruptive. But more carbon dioxide means more fuel for photosynthesis and therefore enhanced growth—sometimes by as much as 40%.
PRI's Tom Sharkey researches how plants use the shunt to quickly reboot the Calvin-Benson cycle, the crucial process that makes their food and nourishes the planet's food chain.
PRI's Robert VanBuren explores how the mechanisms and characteristics that help plants be resilient to drought could lead to new advances in agriculture.
Christian Danve Castroverde, a post-doc in the lab of PRI's Sheng Yang He, has won a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship. The fellowship provides $45,000 of financial support per year for two years.
Defend or grow? Can plants do both at the same time? Michigan State University scientists might be inching closer to answering these questions. The answers matter. They could someday help us understand natural ecosystems or help farmers increase yields, without increasing dependence on chemicals to resist pests.
Michigan State University microbiologist Ashley Shade and plant biologist Sheng Yang He have been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate how the microbiome interacts with, and may mediate, plant responses during environmental stress and how plants may recruit different—and potentially beneficial—root microbes during such periods.