Interdisciplinary consortium coordinating food and energy security research using the model system Brachypodium

Brachypodium distachyon (brachy) has emerged as a cornerstone for research pertaining to key energy and food crops as well as biomass processing. Work in these areas is a point of interest in no less than twelve labs at UMass Amherst. This ensemble of laboratories comprises our Brachy Consortium, where we collaborate to advance plant and microbial science.

We have several research themes and participating faculty to provide opportunities to conduct research using brachy as a model system.

International Brachypodium conference in Modena Italy demonstrates great utility of the research model

Following the prelude workshop in 2011 at the National Institute for Agricultural Research in Versailles France, the 1st International Brachypodium Conference was held in the hometown of Enzo Ferrari in Modena Italy. Scientists from nineteen countries gathered - and at one point evacuated due to an earthquake - to discuss research progress in the genus Brachypodium. Former UMass postdoc Karen Sanguinet, now at Iwate University, communicated her root hairless mutant. Graduate student Pubudu Handakumbura described the functional characterization of a MYB transcription factor that activates cell wall thickening. Among others, Sam Hazen detailed behavior in brachy that is clearly distinct from that of arabidopsis and other dicots. Several groups professed the usefulnes of the model to study cereal pathogens and other attributes of growth and development. Also noteworthy is the development of B. sylvaticum as a to to study perennialism.

The 2012 Best Talk Award at the Life Sciences Graduate Student Symposium goes to Pubudu Handakumbura

Graduate students from eight UMass life sciences graduate programs presented their research at The Second Annual Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium. The 2012 Best Talk Award went to Pubudu Handakumbura, who presented a talk titled, "BdMYB48 directly controls the accumulation of biomass in the model grass Brachypodium distachyon."

Syndicate content