PMB News Center

How Sunflowers Follow the Sun

A field of sunflowers in Yolo County, California. (Photo by Chris Nicolini, UC Davis)

Benjamin Blackman follows the growth of sunflowers

By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley

Sunflowers not only pivot to face the sun as it moves across the sky during the day, but they also rotate 180 degrees during the night to greet the morning sun.

UC Davis and UC Berkeley researchers have now discovered how they do it: They’ve linked their internal clock genes to stem growth, so that the eastern side of the stem elongates more than the western side during the day, turning the stem and flower westward to track the transiting sun....

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...

Undergraduate in Specht Lab Honored

Shayla Salzman is the lead author of the award-winning paper

American Society of Plant Taxonomists Award

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

The American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) Grady L. Webster Award was recently given to Shayla Salzman, Heather E. Driscoll, Tanya Renner, Thiago André, Stacy Shen and Associate Professor Chelsea Specht for their 2015 paper entitled "Spiraling into History: A Molecular Phylogeny and Investigation of Biogeographic Origins and Floral Evolution for the Genus Costus."

This specific award is the 2016 Grady L. Webster Plant Systematics Publication Award, honoring the best Systematic Botany paper of the year. The paper was was...

2016 American Phytopathological Society ​Award​s

Professor Steve Lindow honored

​ Plant & Microbial Biology Professor Steven Lindow has been ​selected to receive The Award of Distinction, the highest award made ​by the American Phytopathological Society in honor of ​his ​significant contributions to the science of plant pathology.

​Lindow, who is also Executive Associate Dean at the College of Natural Resources, will be honored at their next annual meeting.

Links:

apsnet.org/members/awards/Pages/2016AwardeesAnnounced.aspx

Lindow's PMB Profile

College of Natural Resources Honors Research Symposium

Top students present their year-long research projects

More than 30 qualifying undergraduate students from eight majors in the College of Natural Resources gave presentations at 114 Morgan Hall on May 5-6, 2016.

The two-day event showcased results from the students' respective research, with topics ranging from water availability in the Central Valley of California to characterization of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria . The event was organized and moderated by Professor Tasios Melis of the Plant & Microbial Biology department, with assistance by Elizabeth Storer, CNR Dean's Office of Student Affairs.

Presenters:...

Department Citation to Outstanding Students

Sather Gate

$500 award each to Noah Gardner and Manraj Sekhon

Manraj Sekhon, a microbial biology undergraduate student, enjoys working in a research lab because it enables him to explore science in a way that "reinforces and enriches the concepts learned in the classroom."

Along with Noah Gardner, Sekhon was awarded the Plant & Microbial Biology Citation in recognition of their outstanding academic work at UC Berkeley. Both students will receive $500 each.

Every year, PMB awards the major citation to the top graduating undergraduate student in Genetics and Plant Biology major and the top...

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....

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