115 school students, ranging from 4th to 6th graders, got to learn about plant defense mechanisms and got a taste of how to observe and think critically as a scientist. The brains behind the events was Leah Johnson, a graduate student in the lab of PRI's Gregg Howe.
The Plant Resilience Institute and MSU’s Project GREEEN have partnered to fund seed projects focused on plant resilience of Michigan crops. Two projects were funded focused on dry beans and tar spot of corn.
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.