VISION: In spite of a dramatic increase in human population, the number of cultivated acres has remained relatively constant over the last fifty years; thus plant breeders and agronomists have made significant contributions to mitigating human impact on the environment.
Our main thrust, supported by the Office of Science (BER), U.S. Department of Energy, is a genomic systems approach to mapping transcription regulatory circuits in dicots (arabidopsis) and grasses (brachypodium). The target phenotypes are plant biofuel feedstock properties. See these two seminars by Chris Somerville for the argument for biofuels.
Josh Coomey awarded a Chateaubriand Fellowship to conduct research at the Institute Jean-Pierre Bourgin in Versailles, France. He will work with collaborators Richard Sibout and Grégory Mouille to charcaterize the regulation of plant cell wall growth.
Sam Hazen has been selected as a 2015 Marion and Jasper Whiting Fellow. The award will support sabbatical research in France on using phenomics as a teaching and research tool to understand how energy crops grow.
Scientific American article "How to manipulate plants to build a better biofuel" describes our recent paper in the journal Nature as does a New & Views article in the same issue.
Scott Lee receives a DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research Award. Scott will conduct part of his Ph.D. research with Dr. John Vogel at the DOE-Joint Genome Institute.
Undergraduate researchers Chrismery Gonzalez and G Robert Mmari were awarded 3rd Best Poster at the GEM G.R.A.D. LAB Symposium in Boston.
Scott Lee has received the 2014-2015 Constantine J. Gilgut Fellowship.
Graduate student Josh Coomey will present the exciting development of a synthesized library of Brachypodium distachyon transcription factors at the DOE-JGI Genomics of Energy and Environment meeting in Walnut Creek California.
New special topic issue published in Frontiers in Plant Science on Lignocellulosic feedstocks: research progress and challenges in optimising biomass quality and yield.