Department of
Plant Biology

Plant Biology News

USDA Funds ‘Agrivoltaics’ Project Led by University of Illinois/iSEE Team

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced funding for a new project led by iSEE Interim Director Madhu Khanna to optimize design for “agrivoltaic” systems — fields with both crops and solar panels — that will maintain crop production, produce renewable energy, and increase farm profitability.

New imaging, machine-learning methods speed effort to reduce crops' need for water

Scientists have developed and deployed a series of new imaging and machine-learning tools to discover attributes that contribute to water-use efficiency in crop plants during photosynthesis and to reveal the genetic basis of variation in those traits.

Dynamic photosynthesis model simulates 10-20 percent yield increase

A team from the University of Illinois has developed a model that treats photosynthesis as a dynamic process rather than an activity that either is or is not happening.

Intact wilderness - Exploring the cloudiest forest in Central America

The Fortuna Hydrological Reserve hosts one third of Panama’s tree species, a variety of fungi waiting to be discovered and a great potential to offset global warming

Lisa Ainsworth Named 2021 Distinguished Senior Research Scientist of the Year

Lisa Ainsworth has been named the 2021 Distinguished Senior Research Scientist of the Year by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for her scientific achievements.

Professor Amy Marshall-Colon Receives Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award

What effects does environmentally induced "stress" have on crops, and how can these effects be predicted? Biologist Prof. Dr. Amy Marshall-Colon is working on this question at the University of Illinois in the US - and soon also as a guest professor at the Cluster of Excellence “PhenoRob – Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Production” at the University of Bonn. For the cooperation with her colleagues and the planned research stay in Bonn, she now receives a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, endowed with 45,000 Euros. To conduct her research, Amy Marshall-Colon will be in Bonn from May 15 to August 15, 2022.

Campus-Wide Innovation Prize 2021 Finalists!

The Technology Entrepreneur Center in The Grainger College of Engineering is pleased to announce 2021 finalists of the campus-wide innovation awards, to include SIB's own Gabe Price. The Illinois Innovation Prize (IIP) for $20,000 is awarded annually to a creative and passionate student working towards innovative solutions that could have a positive societal impact.

Not just CO2: Rising temperatures also alter photosynthesis in a changing climate

Agricultural scientists who study climate change often focus on how increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will affect crop yields. But rising temperatures are likely to complicate the picture, researchers including co-author Carl Bernacchi report in a new review of the topic.

College of LAS announces teaching award winners

Honorees will be celebrated in April along with last year's winners

The College of LAS has selected winners of this year’s teaching excellence awards. Twelve professors (including Wendy Yang from Plant Biology), graduate student teaching assistants (including Nicholas Anderson from Entomology), and an advisor (to be announced) are honored for their service.

Trade‐offs tip toward litter trapping: Insights from a little‐known Panamanian cloud‐forest treelet

Each plant's development unfolds along many trade‐off axes. One common trade‐off is engendered by the differential allocation of tissues to harvest essential resources from the surrounding environment. Generally, photosynthetic leaves capture light energy and carbon dioxide, whereas roots take up water and mineral nutrients.