PMB News Center

Cal and National Parks Start Second Century of Science

Conference with National Parks and National Geographic Society

A scientist takes notes from a cliffside perch in Yosemite National Park; Photo: Steven Bumgardner

UC Berkeley in partnership with the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society look toward the 2015 National Park Service centennial with the conference "Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century" . The conference will take place on March 25-27 at UC Berkeley.

Scholars, conservationalists and public officials will gather on the campus to dicuss...

Spring Events and Programs for Undergraduate Students

Pre-med advising; lunch with faculty and industry leaders

Students gathered outside Dwinelle Hall; Photo by Queena Xu

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

Recurring Events

Pre-Med and Pre-Health Professional Drop-in Advising February 3 - April 14, 10am-1pm or 10am- 12pm, alternating Tuesdays, 3060 VLSB

Speak with a Career Center Pre-Health Peer Advisor and get answers to your questions about preparing and applying for medical and other health professional schools.

Peace Corps Drop-In Advising Thursdays from 10am-12pm CNR Resource Center (260 Mulford Hall)

Meet with...

Interested in evolution?

The evolution of floral identity genes

Jacob O. Brunkard (Graduate Student), Professor Patricia C. Zambryski , Anne M. Runkel (Graduate Student) Photo by Queena Xu

Graduate students Jake Brunkard and Anne Runkel of the Zambryski lab recently published a commentary in Science , summarized as follows: Last year, Sayou et al. published a study about the evolution of a plant-specific transcription factor, LEAFY (Science 343:645-648, 2014). They argued that LEAFY evolved new functions while remaining a single copy gene. In response, we wrote a comment arguing that...

Department Scores Berkeley Food Institute Grant

Diversifying cereal options for our diet

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

Congratulations to Amrita Hazra, a postdoc in the Taga Lab, and Principal Investigators Sarah Hake and Peggy Lemaux for receiving a grant from the Berkeley Food Instituteto explore millets to diversify cereal options in our diet and the environment.

  • Exploring Millets to Diversify Cereal Options in Our Diet and the Environment

After reviewing 18 proposals from a wide range of disciplines across campus, covering an exciting diversity of relevant topics, BFI has selected the...

Graduate Student Cat Adams Reports for BBC

Don't let their small size fool you; praising fungi

Six Bizarre Things about Fungi

By Cat Adams/BBC Campus

It’s impossible to write an article praising fungi without first thanking Kingdom Fungi for getting early humans drunk.

One group of fungi, the yeasts, generates their energy through a process called fermentation. Yeasts take sugar from plants, and break it down into a compound they can use for energy, along with the byproducts carbon dioxide and alcohol.

Alcohol poisons most microbes. But because yeasts produce so much alcohol, yeasts have evolved to tolerate very high alcohol...

Looking "Beyond Academia"

Third annual conference will be in March - sign up now

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

While many students at UC Berkeley study for a graduate degree, recent data shows that fewer than 20 percent of PhDs actually pursue careers in academia. The majority continue on to a wide range of other careers.

In response to that statistic, and the need for more information on alternative careers for PhDs, "Beyond Academia" was founded at UC Berkeley by graduate students and postdocs in 2013....

The Promise and Peril of Newborn Genomic Sequencing

Professor Steven Brenner featured in Breakthroughs Magazine

By Sally Lehrman

Like many other parents, Steven Brenner decorates his Koshland Hall office with colorful drawings in a child’s hand. On his desk, propped up alongside the phalanx of computers, are sunflowers, a bird, and a paper plate transformed into an orange pumpkin with crooked eyes. And as with other parents, too, a key moment from Brenner’s children’s births is seared into his brain. “It’s definitely very traumatic to have someone come and poke holes in the little baby’s foot,” he recalls, grimacing.

Brenner, a...

Mushroom Discovery on Campus

Team describes first new species from campus in more than 30 years

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology Two researchers who recently named the first new species of mushroom from the UC Berkeley campus in more than 30 years are emphasizing the need for continued green and open space on campus, as well as a full-fledged catalog of all North American mushroom species. Else Vellinga and Nhu Nguyen were ecstatic last year when they found and described Helvella dryophila , a beautiful black “elfin saddle” associated with oaks on Observatory Hill, an open space area next to...

Highly Cited Researchers

PMB professors in top one percent of citations in their fields

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

Three PMB professors have been chosen as being representatives as the world's "leading scientific minds" by Thomson Reuters, which ranked them among the top one percent "most cited for their subject field" earning them a mark of "exceptional impact".

Thomson Reuters, a news and information service, recently generated the 2014 list of Highly Cited Researchers within the scientific field by using the following criteria:

  • Articles and reviews in science and social sciences journals
  • ...

PMB Professors Lead International Research Team

Goal is to obtain genome sequences for pesky powdery mildews

By Karyn Houston Plant & Microbial Biology

Two UC Berkeley scientists will lead a team of international researchers to obtain genome sequences for 11 powdery mildew fungi, a key step forward in managing a pesky pathogen that causes billions of dollars in agricultural losses each year, if untreated.

PMB Associate Professor Mary Wildermuth and PMB Professor Shauna Somerville will do the genome sequencing work with resources from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute.

Powdery mildew affects a number of crops,...