Department of
Plant Biology

Plant Biology News

In Memoriam - Dr. Sharon Gray (1985-2016)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign B.Sc. Integrative Biology, 2006 Ph.D. Plant Biology, 2013

Future drought will offset benefits of higher CO2 on soybean yields

Plant biology professor Andrew Leakey and colleagues report that soybeans will suffer yield losses sooner than previously predicted under future conditions that combine elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels with drought.

Fixing a Broken Theory of Nature

Scientists are trying to tweak a well-known model of ecological change to account for environmental fluctuations

Fungi are at the root of tropical forest diversity–or lack thereof, study finds

University of Illinois plant biology professor James Dalling, graduate student Adriana Corrales and their colleagues found that fungi that associate with tree roots can profoundly influence plant diversity in a tropical forest.

Second-generation biofuels can reduce emissions

Plant biology professor Evan DeLucia and co-authors found that the renewable fuel standard’s greater emphasis on second-generation biofuel can reduce emissions greatly despite economic considerations.

Alaskan boreal forest fires release more carbon than the trees can absorb

U. of I. professor Feng Sheng Hu led a study of carbon cycling and forest fires in the boreal forests of the Yukon Flats in Alaska.

It's time to stop thinking in terms of food versus fuel

How farmers can sustainably, and affordably, meet humanity's growing demand for food and fuel

Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team finds

U. of I. postdoctoral researcher Katarzyna Glowacka, left, crop sciences professor Erik Sacks, visiting scholar Shailendra Sharma and their colleagues found that chill-tolerant sugarcane hybrids, called “miscanes,” also photosynthesize at lower temperatures.

Roadmap to achieve global food production goals by redesigning photosynthesis

A plan to increase crop productivity by making crop plants more efficient, and better neighbors. Robert Emerson Professor of Plant Biology Donald Ort led a diverse group of researchers who propose a roadmap to achieve global food production goals by redesigning photosynthesis.

Evolutionary Trees Reveal Patterns of Microbial Diversification

The results, published in PNAS, reveal microbial family trees with distinct evolutionary patterns that may one day help us understand how harmful microbes evolve.