Arabidopsis Uses Defense Metabolites to Mediate Drought Tolerance

Brassica plants, such as broccoli, produce specialized metabolites that benefit humans by inducing anti-cancer defenses and providing flavor. These same compounds benefit the plant by attacking insects. Recent work however is showing that the plant also uses these flavor/anti-cancer compounds to defend against drought. The metabolite, glucoraphanin (4-methylsulfinylbutyl glucosinolate), is the focus of a new…

Continue reading →

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,…

Continue reading →

UC Davis Partners with DEA-Approved Company to Conduct Cannabis Research: Researchers will seek to better understand the science of cannabis

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have partnered with a federally compliant pharmaceutical company to analyze the chemical and biological profiles of cannabis for the benefit of law enforcement, health care providers and scientific professionals. The agreement with Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC), which is registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, is among the…

Continue reading →

Using Machine Learning to Predict Metabolic Pathways in Tomatoes

Understanding the steps in metabolic pathways is important for understanding health and disease, whether in people or plants. But figuring out these biochemical pathways is difficult and time consuming. So why not have a machine do it? Scientists at UC Davis and Ben-Gurion University in Israel have applied machine learning (artificial intelligence) techniques to this…

Continue reading →

A Peek at the Polysaccharides Transported Inside Plant Vesicles

The cell wall is a complex and dynamic structure surrounding and protecting plant cells. Polysaccharides and glycoproteins are principal components of the cell wall. Within the plant cell, a network of membrane-enclosed compartments known as the endomembrane system, transports polysaccharides from their synthesis in Golgi apparatus, via vesicles, to build the cell wall. Given the…

Continue reading →