Prospective Students

Recent News

August 21, 2017

Thomas Baum and Gary Munkvold, plant pathology and microbiology, were named Fellows at the 2017 American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting, held Aug. 5-9 in San Antonio. Baum, distinguished professor and department chair, was recognized for his scholarly contributions to molecular nematology, as well as his commitment to undergraduate and graduate education through his teaching activities and the development of award-winning teaching tools and mentoring the next generation of scientists.

August 18, 2017

AMES, Iowa – Farmers often go to great lengths to keep viruses and aphids out of their fields, but Iowa State University scientists are imagining a future in which these harmful agents could be engineered to help crops.

It’s a wild and highly speculative idea, the researchers admit. But the research will unearth valuable clues about how viruses, insects and plants interact and could lead to new interventions to safeguard the food supply.

August 2, 2017

Researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Davis, and Iowa State University have received a four-year $10.3 million award to engineer insect-vectored viruses to express genes in maize that can help in combatting disease, drought, and other yield-reducing stresses.

July 14, 2017

AMES, Iowa – Dry weather forces plants to save energy by reducing their growth rate, but it’s not as if a plant can consult a rain gauge or weather report. So how do they know when to ease up on growth?

Yanhai Yin, a professor of genetics, development and cell biology and a Plant Sciences Institute Faculty Scholar, has spent years charting the genetic mechanisms that govern plant stress response and growth to answer that question.

July 12, 2017

AMES, IA – Iowa State University researchers for the first time have mapped the various molecular components that govern how environmentally stressed plants interrupt their normal growth pathways by tapping into an important energy recycling function.

The research, published today in the peer-reviewed academic journal Developmental Cell, shows that autophagy, a system by which both plants and animals recycle energy and molecular components, plays a key role in slowing plant growth during times of stress.

Yanhai Yin, a professor of genetics, development and cell biology and a Plant Sciences Institute Faculty Scholar, said plants slow their growth when they experience stress such as drought, a prolonged lack of sunlight or any other low-energy circumstance. But teasing out the genetic interactions that result in slower growth has puzzled scientists for years.