PMB News Center

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: pmb.berkeley.edu/graduate-programs

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...

N. Louise Glass Receives Award

At the 44th Symposium for Research in Bamberg, Germany

UC Berkeley was well represented at the 44th Symposium for Research Award Winners of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation held in Bamberg, Germany between March 17th-20th, 2016.

Awardees included Professors Jeffrey A. Reimer, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Ulrike M. Malmendier, Economics, Daniel Tataru, Mathematics and N. Louise Glass, Plant and Microbial Biology.

Glass is shown in the photo receiving her award from Professor Helmut Schwarz, President of the Humboldt Foundation. Each of the awardees will be spending 6-12 months working with colleagues in Germany....

Kris Niyogi Named Fellow, American Society of Plant Biologists

Breakthrough research on photsynthetic energy conversion

PMB Professor and Chair Kris Niyogi has been named a fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). Established in 2007, the award is granted in recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the ASPB by current members in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach, and professional and public service.

Current members of ASPB who have contributed to the Society for at least 10 years are eligible for nomination. Recipients of the Fellow of ASPB honor, which may be granted to...

PMB at Cal Day April 16, 2016

Magic show, micro garden, microbiology and more

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology will be participating in UC Berkeley's Cal Day on Saturday April 16, 2016. PMB students and faculty will be presenting and hosting all sorts of activities that revolve around plants and microbes. Cal Day is one of the ways PMB interacts with the Berkeley community and future Golden Bears along with their families. From 11 am to 2 pm, visit PMB at the Genetics and Plant Biology lawn, located next...

Brenner Named Fellow of Scientific Society

Steven Brenner

Significant contributions to the field of computational biology

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

Steven Brenner, a professor in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, has been elected a fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) for his groundbreaking research in computational protein analysis and genomics. Brenner’s work is on the cutting edge of computational biology, the science of developing and applying computational approaches to understand biology.

The ISCB is a scholarly society dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of living systems through computation, and is the...

How Bacteria get their Magnetic Compass

An inactivated protein, MamO (lower left), shepherds iron atoms directly to the growing magnetite crystal (red), which forms inside a membrane compartment (blue). The yellow filaments are proteins that organize the crystals into chains in the cell. The ch

Building mini magnets to navigate their environment

By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley

Many bacteria build miniature magnets and use them to navigate their environment and UC Berkeley’s Arash Komeili has found a neat trick they use to do it.

As reported in the March 2016 issue of the journal PLOS Biology, Komeili, an associate professor of plant and microbial biology, discovered that most so-called magnetotactic bacteria repurpose a commonplace enzyme and use it as a scaffold on which to assemble iron atoms into tiny magnets.

He and his colleagues discovered...

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