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Parasitic plant biology study by Professor Shelley Lumba reveals unexpected pathway to germination of witchweed seeds

The crop fields of sub-Saharan Africa have fallen under a spell cast by the witchweed Striga hermonthica. Every year, this parasitic plant targets and destroys over eight billion dollars worth of staple crops, leading the UN to declare Striga infestations as a major impediment to poverty alleviation in Africa. A new discovery from researchers at … Read More

Sensing light synthetically yields insight into retinal disease

“Can we make yeast see?” seems an odd question for biologists to ask, but students in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology (CSB) have used synthetic biology to make yeast cells that can detect light. Professor Belinda Chang studies the cells which respond to light in the retina and send that response as a … Read More

Pan-genome effector analysis of Pseudomonas syringae reveals the ways wild plants evade infection

The Guttman and Desveaux labs in Cell & Systems Biology have published a comprehensive analysis of the huge variety of methods used by bacteria to evade the immune system of plants in the latest issue of Science magazine: “The pan-genome effector-triggered immunity landscape of a host-pathogen interaction.” Imagine you’re growing a tomato plant and you … Read More