Department of
Plant Biology

Plant Biology News

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.

$1.8M grant to create data platform for Big Data in plant breeding

Illinois plant biologists, computer scientists receive $1.8M to create data platform for Big Data in plant breeding. David LeBauer, a plant biologist, will act as principal investigator for the supercomputing pipeline and reference sensing platform components.

Cultivated papaya owes a lot to the ancient Maya, research suggests

Plant biology professor Ray Ming and his colleagues discovered that papaya cultivation 4,000 years ago likely led to the evolution of hermaphrodite plants, which are favored by growers today.