Skip to main content

Department of Plant Biology

News

  • 2023-04-17 - Andrew Leakey, professor and head of plant biology, was featured in a weeklong "Science is for Everyone" promotion on social media by The Science Coalition, which kicked off with a short video featuring 17 questions. It covered everything from his daily bike commute to CABBI's interdisciplinary work developing technologies to grow next-generation bioenergy crops to produce clean bioenergy and...
  • 2023-03-10 - Lexi Gomez is knee-deep in a pond when I first see her in the U. of I. Plant Biology Greenhouse and Conservatory. A fifth-year senior who will graduate this semester, Gomez dips a net in the dark water to clear the pond of debris fallen from the lush jungle of tropical plants that looms above. She attacks the work with gusto. As...
  • 2022-11-15 - Nine researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2022 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes research scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated exceptional influence – reflected through their publication of multiple papers frequently cited by their peers during the last decade. This year’s list includes 6,938...
  • 2022-11-04 - Miscanthus is one of the most promising perennial crops for bioenergy production since it is able to produce high yields with a small environmental footprint. This versatile grass has great potential to perform even better, as much less effort has been put into improving it through breeding relative to established commodity crops such as maize or soybean.
  • 2022-10-04 - A plant biologist’s views on sex triggered a storm of protest and debate on academic freedom The story of Leo Koch is best understood in a 1960 frame of mind. That year, John F. Kennedy was running for president and Westerns such as Gunsmoke and Wagon Trail were the top shows on television. The eventual hit song “I’m sorry” was stalled in studios over concerns that the singer, Brenda Lee, was...
  • 2022-09-12 - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign plant biology professor emeritus Govindjee is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Photosynthesis Research, an honor he shares with Eva-Mari Aro, a professor emeritus of molecular plant biology at the University of Turku...
  • 2022-07-20 - Amy Marshall-Colon researches how to help crops survive a rapidly changing environment How can we help our crops and plants survive in an increasingly hot and unpredictable environment? Amy Marshall-Colon, a professor of plant biology at the U of I who recently received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, thinks that by...
  • 2022-06-09 - The Departments of Plant Biology and Biochemistry are pleased to announce the creation of the Rabinowitch Lecture Series, which will feature guest speakers who have made key achievements in the two fields.
  • 2022-05-25 - The transgenic papaya “SunUp” was developed in the 1990s and was widely publicized because of its ability to resist the papaya ringspot virus. Although researchers from the Ming group had identified the genomic sequence of SunUp by 2008, it was unclear where the transgenic insertions were and what effect they had. A new...
  • 2022-04-12 - Thawing permafrost is roiling the Arctic landscape, driven by a hidden world of changes beneath the surface as the climate warms. Across the Arctic, strange things are happening to the landscape. Massive lakes, several square miles in size, have disappeared in the span of a few days. Hillsides slump. Ice-rich ground collapses, leaving the landscape wavy where it once was flat, and in some...
  • 2022-03-25 - There is much more carbon stored in Earth’s soil than in its atmosphere. A significant portion of this soil carbon is in organic form (carbon bound to carbon), called soil organic carbon (SOC). Notably, unlike the inorganic carbon in soils, the amount of SOC, and how quickly it is built up or lost, can be influenced by humans. Since its advent about 10,000 years ago, agriculture has caused a...
  • 2022-03-22 - On March 16, 2022, the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing on “Bioenergy Research and Development for the Fuels and Chemicals of Tomorrow.” According to the ...
  • 2022-02-28 - A team from the University of Illinois has revamped the popular crop growth simulation software BioCro, making it a more user-friendly and efficient way to predict crop yield. The updated version, BioCro II, allows modelers to use the technology much more easily and includes faster and more accurate...
  • 2021-12-22 - Arctic permafrost, if thawed, could double the amount of carbon in the atmosphere While climate change is the primary driver of permafrost degradation in Arctic Alaska, a new analysis of 70 years of data reveals that tundra fires are accelerating that decline, contributing disproportionately to a phenomenon known as “thermokarst,” the abrupt collapse of ice-rich permafrost as a result of thawing.
  • 2021-12-17 - Globally, plants are reaping the benefits of elevated CO2 levels in the atmosphere by increasing photosynthesis rates, a phenomenon known as the CO2 fertilization effect. However, those benefits might be offset by drier and warmer climates caused by global warming and extreme climate events. Using data collected from urban environments, researchers at Illinois have been able to study dueling...