Plant biology professor Stephen Long and colleagues report on advances and challenges in improving plant photosynthesis.
Using high-performance computing and genetic engineering to boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a planet expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by 2050, researchers report in the journal Cell.
Plant biology professor Ray Ming and his colleagues discovered that papaya cultivation 4,000 years ago likely led to the evolution of hermaphrodite plants, which are favored by growers today.
A genetic study of papaya sex chromosomes reveals that the hermaphrodite version of the plant, which is of most use to growers, arose as a result of human selection, most likely by the ancient Maya some 4,000 years ago.
Animated videos teach survival gardening. From left: Carl Burkybile, agricultural director of Healing Hands International, worked with entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh, animator Benjamin Blalock, Center for African Studies assistant director Julia Bello-Bravo and animator Anna Perez Sabater to develop the videos, which HHI distributes around the world.
Subsistence farmers in Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean are learning how to construct raised planting beds and install drip irrigation systems to boost their agricultural productivity, conserve water and perhaps even halt the rapid advance of desertification in some drought-prone regions.
Microbiology professor Steven Blanke is now a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
Two University of Illinois professors have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology. Steven Blanke and Bryan White are among the 79 microbiologists chosen by their peers for this honor.
University of Illinois animal biology professor Rebecca Fuller and her colleagues found that killifish females that learn to avoid mating with other species also discriminate among members of their own species.
A new study offers insight into a process that could lead one species to diverge into two, researchers report in The American Naturalist.
A new anti-cancer compound, PAC-1, spurs cell death in cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.
A new drug that prompts cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is now entering phase I clinical trials in humans. The drug, called PAC-1, first showed promise in the treatment of pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers, and is still in clinical trials in dogs with osteosarcoma.