UC Grad Slam is an annual contest in which master’s and Ph.D. students across UC campuses compete to sum up their research for a general audience. Learn more about Grad Slam Finalist Katherine Murphy, a plant biology graduate student.
Assistant Professor Jennifer Gremer showed an interest in plant life at an early age, but her path to scientific research wasn’t straightforward. She dabbled in many fields related to plant sciences, from working as an interpretive ranger in Yosemite National Park to performing botanical surveys for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Assistant Professor Patrick Shih was recently selected as a 2019 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Computational and Evolutionary Molecular Biology. The fellowship will help fund his research to reconstruct the evolution of photosynthesis.
Plant biologists at UC Davis have discovered a way to make crop plants replicate through seeds as clones. The long-sought discovery could make it easier to propagate high-yielding, disease-resistant or climate-tolerant crops and make them available to the world’s farmers.
In a study appearing in Science, researchers show that the pesticide imidacloprid, which has been sold in the U.S. since 1994, disrupts bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) nest behavior, causing reduced growth in exposed colonies.
With robotics, computers and advanced genetics, researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have established a core set of genes that help plants metabolize nitrogen, the key to plant growth and crop yield.
In a study appearing in Cell Host & Microbe, UC Davis graduate student Neeraj Lal, Professors Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar and Andrew J Fisher and their colleagues reveal the versatility of plants’ molecular defenses. The findings provide a strategic map revealing how plants allocate resources and have the potential to help bolster crop immune systems and improve their development and growth.
In a paper appearing in PLOS Biology, Joseph Edwards, ’17 Ph.D. in Plant Biology, Professor Venkatesan Sundaresan, Departments of Plant Biology and Plant Sciences and their colleagues tracked root microbiome shifts throughout the life-cycle of rice (Oryza sativa). The research could help inform the design of agricultural probiotics by introducing age-appropriate microbes that promote traits like nutrient efficiency, strong roots and increased growth rates in rice plants.