Chloroplasts, β-Barrel Proteins, and Traversing through Graduate School

In a new publication in The Plant Cell — “Chloroplast Outer Membrane β-Barrel Proteins Use Components of the General Import Apparatus” — authors Philip Day, Steven Theg, and Kentaro Inoue, all at University of California, Davis, determined how β-barrel proteins are sorted to the correct location in plant chloroplast envelopes, which have two membranes. Chloroplasts,…

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Study Finds Indigenous Mexican Variety of Corn Captures the Nitrogen It Needs from the Air: Association with Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Allows the Corn to Thrive Without Fertilizer

Summary A corn variety growing in nitrogen-depleted fields derived 28–82 percent of nitrogen it needed from the atmosphere A sugar-rich, gel-like substance on the corn’s aerial roots, called mucilage, attracts bacteria and other microbes that fix nitrogen A team from UC Davis, UW–Madison, and Mars, Incorporated worked in partnership with indigenous community in Sierra Mixe…

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Tracking Down Transposable Elements in Maize: New Map Will Aid Research and Breeding Efforts

Overview: A new map of transposons in maize will help identify the role of transposable elements, and help with the breeding of maize, a major global crop. Transposable elements (also called transposons or “jumping genes”) have been an elusive DNA component for decades, primarily because they’ve been so difficult to sequence and assemble, until now….

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Marie Jasieniuk: David W. Staniforth Memorial Lecture

Plant Sciences professor Marie Jasieniuk was invited to give the twenty-seventh annual David W. Staniforth Memorial Lecture at Iowa State University in October. Her presentation was “Managing the Evolution of Weed Adaptations.” Jasieniuk’s expertise is in the evolution, population genetics, molecular ecology, and management of herbicide-resistant weeds. She is an international expert in the population…

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