PMB News Center

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors at PMB

berkeley seal

Riva Bruenn, Sydney Glassman honored

Riva Bruenn, one of UC Berkeley's outstanding Graduate Student Instructors for 2016, uses games and inclusion to get students engaged and learning from each other. "Involving the whole class in teaching each lesson engages everyone on different levels, and causes students to accept more of the responsibility of learning," said Bruenn. Along with Graduate Student Sydney Glassman she has been named an outstanding Graduate Student Instrucor (GSI) for the department and the campus. "The students who are furthest ahead take the most active role in teaching, which keeps them...

17th Annual Microbiology Student Symposium

Happening Friday, May 6, 2016; Registration open now

The Microbiology Student Group at UC Berkeley invites you to join us for the 17th Annual Microbiology Student Symposium (MSS) on Friday, May 6, 2016 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. This year, our keynote speakers are Victoria Orphan from Caltech and Micheal Laub from MIT.

The MSS provides a forum for students researching all topics in microbiology to present their research to an engaged group of students, scientists, and members of the general public interested in microbiology. In addition, attendees will have the...

Apply Now for PMB Graduate Programs

Cal Script

Application deadline is December 1, 2014

The admissions application for the 2015 Graduate Program in Plant & Microbial Biology is now available.

To find out more about our Plant and Microbial Biology programs, please visit:

Helpful Links

Research Focus - Plant & Microbial Biology Research Focus - Graduate Group in Microbiology Plant and Microbial Biology Faculty Page Graduate Group in Microbiology Faculty Page ...

MAD Science - Understanding Cellular Signaling

"Acceleration without restraint" can be disastrous

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

A team of researchers led by the Quail Lab at UC Berkeley has zeroed in on the important process of “attenuation,” the way cells guard against potentially harmful overreactions to the external cues that enable them to adapt to prevailing conditions.

"In the biosciences, defects in signaling attenuation mechanisms are under increasing scrutiny in both medical and agricultural areas," said Peter Quail, professor in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley and research director at...

Starving Out the Enemy

Mary Wildermuth's research combats mildew attacks

How to Starve Out the Enemy

By Wallace Ravven It looks harmless enough – a light dusting like baby powder sprinkled on the leaves. But as rose lovers know, powdery mildew can attack new buds and shoots, stunt growth and distort plant development.

If not controlled, the fast spreading...

A Win-Win for Farmers and the Environment

PMB Researchers explore ways to reduce the use of fertilizers

By Armand Parajon

A mid-career grant for a UC Berkeley researcher will go toward finding ways to reduce the use of fertilizers in agriculture, while still maintaining high yields.

Plant & Microbial Biology Professor Sheng Luan has been awarded $1.9 million from the National Science Foundation to figure out how plants can take up nutrients more efficiently while using less fertilizer.

Cooperative Extension Specialist Peggy Lemaux, also from PMB, is co-principal investigator for the project.

The Problem with Fertilizers...

Coates Named as New Director of Energy Biosciences Institute

Professor John D. Coates to lead public/private consortium

John D. Coates, professor of microbiology in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, has been named the new director of the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) at UC Berkeley.

The EBI, one of the largest public-private partnerships in the world, was created to apply advanced biological knowledge to the area of bioenergy development.

Coates succeeds Professor Chris Somerville, former director of the EBI.

Coates said his goals for the organization, which is a part of the UC Berkeley campus and managed...

Fungus Among Us

Cal hosts Mycological Society of America meeting

By Cat Adams, Plant & Microbial Biology

For the first time since the Mycological Society of America (MSA) was molded in 1931, the annual conference will take place at UC Berkeley's beautiful Clark-Kerr campus.

More than 350 fungal specialists from around the world will gather to share their research, network and germinate new ideas at the meeting organized by Professors John Taylor and Tom Bruns of Plant & Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, in collaboration with Professor Anne Pringle of the University of Wisconsin,...

Arnon and Kase Fellowships 2016-2017

Awarded to outstanding graduate students in the department

The Arnon and Kase Graduate Student Fellowships Committee recently selected two graduate student applicants to receive the prestigious Arnon and Kase Fellowships for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Grady Pierroz, a joint student in the Coleman-Derr / Lemaux Labs, and Thai Dao, a student in the Fletcher Lab, will each receive a stipend and payment of university fees in support of their graduate education.

The Arnon Fellowship was established to support PMB graduate students pursuing research in plant biology. It is bestowed annually in the...

Specht: President of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists

Fostering and promoting education and research in plant taxonomy

Chelsea Specht, an associate professor in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, was just elected President-elect of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. Her term starts September 2017.

Specht is a plant organismal biologist. In addition to her affiliations with PMB, she is also an associate professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Integrative Biology and she is the curator of monocots with the University and Jepson Herbaria, part of the Berkeley Natural History Museums. Specht is also on the Faculty Advisory Committee for the...