Innovating Agriculture from Lab to Field
The deadline for application to the Plant Systems Biology Program is December 15, 2014 and the deadline for the Molecular Plant Breeding Program is March 1, 2015.
Bin Yu Lab reports more microRNA clues.
(April 2014) Tiny molecules called microRNAs are powerful agents in regulating gene expression, but the mechanisms that regulate them aren’t well understood. UNL plant scientist Bin Yu and his team have uncovered important clues about how plant cells control microRNA function, a step toward better understanding crop development and stress response.
Weeks receives the Outstanding Research and Creative Activity award.
(April 2014) Donald Weeks has received the Outstanding Research and Creativity Activity award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The ORCA recognizes faculty for outstanding research or creative activity of national or international significance.
Weeks named Fellow to National Academy of Inventors
(December 2013) Donald Weeks has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, an honor given to esteemed innovators and inventors. Weeks, the Maxcy Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was recognized for distinguished contributions in plant and algal biotechnology and efforts to translate research discoveries into solutions that benefit society.
Holding earns research awards
(November 2013) Assistant professor David Holding received a Junior Faculty for Excellence in Research Award. The awards are provided through the Branham Endowment Fund. Given annually by the Agricultural Research Division, the award is for tenure-track assistant professors with an ARD appointment with five or less years of professional service at UNL. The award is based upon publication record, evidence of external funding activity and peer recognition.
Holding is an assistant professor with the Center for Plant Science Innovation and Agronomy and Horticulture. He has published research papers in journals including Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Plant Cell and Plant Physiology and recently received extramural funding from USDA-NIFA and ConAgra. His research program aims to identify and functionally characterize genes involved in kernel maturation in corn and sorghum. He is particularly interested in understanding and exploiting the complex relationship between kernel texture and protein quality.
Researchers expand understanding of microRNAs
(October 2013) Discovered just two decades ago, tiny molecules called microRNAs are now known to be powerful agents in regulating gene expression. Yet they aren’t well understood. A team of UNL biologists has uncovered important clues about how plant cells regulate microRNAs, a step toward better understanding how crops respond to stress, such as droughts.
Bin Yu, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences and member of UNL’s Center for Plant Science Innovation; Shuxin Zhang, post-doctoral research associate; and their colleagues made their discoveries in Arabidopsis, a well-known plant model. But their findings also could be important to understanding microRNAs in humans and other organisms. The team’s findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Significant advances in knowledge within the plant sciences will be necessary to achieve sustainable agricultural systems and a steady supply of renewable resources, including biofuels. To accomplish these goals the Plant Sciences Program trains students in an integrative manner, allowing them to explore the frontiers of knowledge and gain experience for a variety of career opportunities.