Press Releases


Illinois researchers create 3D images of C4 plant cellular components

A team from the University of Illinois has quantified the plant cell properties in two C4 species, including cell shape, chloroplast size, and distribution of cell-to-cell connections called plasmodesmata, providing information that can change how people model photosynthesis thanks to their 3D reconstructions.

Young Cho kneels surrounded by plants in a field trial

Researchers improve seed nitrogen content by reducing plant chlorophyll levels

Chlorophyll plays a pivotal role in photosynthesis, but it uses a lot of a plant's resources. RIPE researchers wondered if they reduced a plant's chlorophyll levels, if the plant would invest those resources in other areas, potentially improving nutritional quality or yield. Their findings were recently published in the Plant, Cell & Environment journal.

Seven green soybean pods hang on a stem.

Unveiling the secrets of green pods: The role of soybean pods and seeds in photosynthesis

A team from the university of Illinois has discovered why soybean pods are green. They play a vital role in the plant’s photosynthetic process and significantly contribute to soybean yield!

Cassava in a  field.

RIPE research proves potential for measuring root biomass throughout growing season

A team from the University of Illinois has proven how important it is to monitor the biomass of root crops throughout the season rather than relying on end-of-season measurements to analyze growth using ground penetrating radar.

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Four RIPE researchers recognized on 2022 ‘Highly Cited’ list

Four RIPE researchers are amongst 6,938 researchers around the world recognized by Clarivate as Highly Cited Researchers.

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Ort awarded Jalal Aliyev Lecture Scholarship

At the recent International Congress on Photosynthesis, RIPE Deputy Director Don Ort was honored with the Jalal Aliyev Lecture Scholarship from the International Society of Photosynthesis Research.

By: Allie Arp || RIPE Communications Manager

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No photosynthetic improvement in ictB transformants in field-grown model crop

Illinois researchers, in collaboration with Essex, tested four tobacco ictB transformants for photosynthetic performance in field-based conditions.

By: Amanda Nguyen || RIPE Communications Specialist 

Overhead shot of heaters in the fields

The heat is on: RIPE researchers show ability to future-proof crops for changing climate

Research from Illinois and the USDA-ARS show that bypassing a photosynthetic glitch common to crops like soybean, rice, and wheat, can confer thermal protection under heat stress in the field.

By: Allie Arp || RIPE Communications Manager


RIPE researchers named on international ‘Highly Cited’ list

Four RIPE researchers are amongst 6,600 researchers around the world recognized by Clarivate as Highly Cited Researchers.

By: Allie Arp || RIPE Communications Manager

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C4 bioenergy grass: working towards higher productivity under fluctuating light

In a recent study, published in GCB Bioenergy, a team from the University of Illinois evaluated limitations to photosynthetic efficiency of bioenergy grass species during fluctuating light.

By: Amanda Nguyen || ROGUE Communications Specialist

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Not just CO2: Rising temperatures also alter photosynthesis in a changing climate

In a recently published review in the Journal of Experimental Botany, a team of scientists explored temperature impacts on crops across scales.

By: Diana Yates || Illinois News Bureau 

Graphic illustration of computer and papers.

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. 

By: Liz Ahlberg Touchstone | Illinois News Bureau

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Researchers rank among world’s most influential

The Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2018 includes five team members from Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE). 

Three researchers stand in field trial.

Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth by 40 percent

The RIPE project has engineered a shortcut for photorespiration—an energy-expensive process—and increased crop productivity by 40 percent.

Don Ort

Eleven Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential

Eleven faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2018 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list.

By: Lois Yoksoulian | Illinois News Bureau

Steve Long and Don Ort stand in a soybean field.

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.

Stephen Long and Donald Ort

The time is RIPE to transform agriculture and feed the world

University of Illinois receives grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, FFAR, and DFID to catalyze photosynthetic improvements, increase yields for farmers worldwide

Donald Ort

RIPE Deputy Director elected to NAS

RIPE Associate Director Donald Ort is among four University of Illinois professors elected to the National Academy of Sciences this year.

Amanda Cavanagh, Paul South, Don Ort, seedlings

Newly characterized protein has potential to save U.S. farmers millions annually

Instead of turning carbon into food, many plants accidentally make a plant-toxic compound during photosynthesis that is recycled through a process called photorespiration. University of Illinois and USDA/ ARS researchers report in Plant Cell the discovery of a key protein in this process, which they hope to manipulate to increase plant productivity.