To predict how crops cope with changing climate, 30 years of experiments simulate future
30 years’ worth of data from 'Free-Air Concentration Enrichment' facilities shows that although elevated levels of carbon dioxide may benefit crops, potential yield gains are counteracted by other factors.
Advanced biofuels show real promise for replacing some fossil fuels
A new study led by Colorado State University – including an interdisciplinary team of plant scientists, ecologists and engineers – predicted significant climate benefits stemming from the use of advanced biofuel technologies.
Research could save years of breeding for new Miscanthus hybrids
As climate change becomes increasingly difficult to ignore, scientists are working to diversify and improve alternatives to fossil-fuel-based energy.
By: Lauren Quinn | ILLINOIS ACES
Photosynthesis varies greatly across rice cultivars—natural diversity could boost yields
A team from the University of Illinois and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) examined how 14 diverse cultivars of rice photosynthesize differently under constant and fluctuating light conditions.
Boost soybean yields by adapting photosynthesis to fleeting shadows, according to model
Soybeans may lose 13 percent of their productivity grappling with changes in light.
Stephen Long invested as the Stanley O. Ikenberry Chair Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences
Stephen Long has been invested as the Stanley O. Ikenberry Chair Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences, one of the most distinguished honors at Illinois.
Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential
Ort and seven faculty members at the University of Illinois have been named to the 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list.
Scientists transform tobacco info factory for high-value proteins
A team from Cornell and Illinois engineered tobacco to cheaply produce high-value proteins—and found no decreases in yield.
Improved model could help scientists better predict crop yield, climate change effects
Our team created a computer model of how microscopic leaf pores open in response to light to create better virtual plants.
Lancaster scientist is cream of the crop
A scientist who is helping find urgent solutions to the need to feed growing global populations under climate change has been elected to one of the world’s most distinguished scientific organisations.
Long elected to National Academy of Sciences
University of Illinois crop sciences and plant biology professor Stephen P. Long is one of 100 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Crops in silico 2.0: Project Extended
Developing crops using traditional methods is research, labor and cost intensive. However, Crops in silico allows researchers to quickly determine and test characteristics that help crops thrive in specific environments. This modeling allows researchers to conduct more experiments than can be realistically achieved in a field.
When temperatures drop, Siberian Miscanthus plants surpass main bioenergy variety
Newly discovered Miscanthus plants photosynthesize 100 percent more efficiently in chilling temperatures than the industry favorite.
EU-wide initiative to ‘future proof’ our crops
Researchers at Lancaster University have joined a major European research initiative taking on the monumental challenge of ‘future proofing’ our food crops.
Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth 40%
Researchers report in the journal Science that crops engineered with a photorespiratory shortcut are 40 percent more productive in real-world agronomic conditions.
RIPE project receives additional $13 million to accelerate progress to redesign photosynthesis
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation increases RIPE project investment to complement support from FFAR and DFID to improve yields for farmers worldwide.
Scientists debunk potential link to crop cold tolerance
Crops are far from reaching their photosynthetic potential.
Cassava breeding hasn’t improved photosynthesis or yield potential
Unimproved varieties of cassava photosynthesize better than those selected for improved pest and disease resistance.
Scientists engineer crops to conserve water, resist drought
As reported in Nature Communications, RIPE has improved how a crop uses water by 25 percent—without compromising yield—by altering the expression of one gene.
DOE grants $10.6 million to produce more biodiesel, biojet fuel
The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the University of Illinois a $10.6 million, five-year grant to transform two of the most productive crops in America into sustainable sources of biodiesel and biojet fuel.
Farming crops with rocks to reduce CO2 and improve global food security
Adding fast-reacting silicate rocks to croplands could capture CO2 and give increased protection from pests and diseases while restoring soil structure and fertility.
Scientists: Expanding Brazilian sugarcane could dent global CO2 emissions
With expansion, the sugarcane-to-ethanol industry in Brazil could reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 5.6 percent, an international team reports.
By: Diana Yates | Illinois News Bureau
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
A new computer model can predict the yield of different crop cultivars in a multitude of planting conditions.
Modified soybeans yield more in future climate conditions
Researchers have modified soybeans to yield more when both temperature and carbon dioxide levels increase, which suggests that we might be able to combat heat-related yield loss with genetic engineering.
Scientists engineer sugarcane to produce biodiesel, more sugar for ethanol
Sugarcane can be genetically engineered to produce oil in its leaves and stems for biodiesel production. Surprisingly, the modified sugarcane plants also produced more sugar, which could be used for ethanol production.
Crop achilles' heel costs farmers 10 percent of potential yield
Two of our most productive crops, corn and soybean, have shaded leaves that are less efficient than the top leaves, limiting yield.
Open-source plant database confirms top US bioenergy crop
Scientists have confirmed that Miscanthus, long speculated to be the top biofuel producer, yields more than twice as much as switchgrass in the U.S. using an open-source bioenergy crop database gaining traction in plant science, climate change, and ecology research.
Soybean plants with fewer leaves yield more
Scientists predict that modern soybean crops produce more leaves than needed to the detriment of yield.
Crop yield gets big boost with modified genes in photosynthesis
Berkeley and Illinois researchers increase plant proteins that result in more efficient use of sunlight.
Scientists tweak photosynthesis and boost crop yield, proving it can be done
Researchers report in the journal Science that they can increase plant productivity by boosting levels of three proteins involved in photosynthesis.
Something new under the Arizona sun: a robotic revolution in plant breeding
The TERRA-MEPP robot is based on autonomous rovers that search for accident victims in collapsed buildings and other confined, hazardous spaces. Team members are modifying this robust base to include miniature sensors—including hyperspectral, HD and thermal cameras, weather monitors, and LiDAR scanners—that will quantify key aspects of plants and the growing environment.
By: Claudia Lutz | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology | University of Illinois
TERRA-MEPP awarded $3.1M to develop phenotyping robot
The University of Illinois announced that it has been awarded a 2-year, $3.1 million grant from the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
By: Susan Jongeneel | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology | University of Illinois