plant biology

Photosynthesis Requires the Blue-Greens

November 13, 2017
How did plants develop photosynthesis? The story is really nothing more than a tale of biological thievery. Publishing in The Plant Cell, Lagarias and his colleagues found that a pigment called biliverdin is essential to light-induced chlorophyll production in the alga. This discovery is helping scientists understand why diverse algae retain these pigments, although many lack phytochromes.

Professor Oliver Fiehn Awarded Paul K. and Ruth R. Stumpf Professorship in Plant Biochemistry

October 17, 2017
The UC Davis College of Biological Sciences has named Oliver Fiehn, professor of molecular and cellular biology, to the Paul K. and Ruth R. Stumpf Professorship in Plant Biochemistry. An internationally recognized scholar, Fiehn has more than 220 publications to his name. He has driven significant developments in the field of metabolomics, the study of small molecules known as metabolites. Metabolites are the end products of cellular processes and form the chemistry of all life.

Luca Comai and Michele Igo Receive College of Biological Sciences Faculty Teaching Award

August 17, 2017
The College of Biological Sciences Faculty Teaching Award has two recipients for the 2016-2017 year. Luca Comai, professor of plant biology, and Michele Igo, professor and vice chair of microbiology and molecular genetics, are recognized for their excellence in teaching through enthusiasm and effectiveness of instruction, application of technology and innovation in the classroom, and mentorship and motivation of students.

Plant Genes May Lack Off Switch, But Have Volume Control

April 13, 2017
Professor Alan Rose has been working for over two decades to unravel a mechanism called “intron-mediated enhancement.” I’m a graduate student in Rose’s lab, and we made an exceptional discovery in an unexceptional plant called Arabidopsis thaliana, or thale cress. Arabidopsis is the lab mouse of the plant world. The Rose lab uses this small weed to answer questions about the biology of all plants. In a study recently published in the journal The Plant Cell, we show that genetic material known as introns can play very dramatic roles in plants.

Comai and Lagarias Recognized by American Society of Plant Biologists

April 13, 2017

Two professors from the College of Biological Sciences have been recognized for their contributions to plant biology by the American Society of Plant Biologists.

“Throughout their careers, Professors Comai and Lagarias have conducted critical research that increased our ability to produce food and other important commercial crops,” said Mark Winey, dean of the College of Biological Sciences. “They have significantly contributed to food security for the people of the planet.”