News

Claude dePamphilis named Huck Chair in Plant Biology and Evolutionary Genomics

Claude dePamphilis, Penn State Professor of Biology, has been named the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Distinguished Chair in Plant Biology and Evolutionary Genomics by the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Little crop of horrors

An international team of researchers has received a grant from the Human Frontier Science Program to investigate how carnivory-related genes, such as those involved in digestion, could help crops not only avoid pests, but also thrive in low-nutrient environments.

Grant supports study of how carnivorous plants repurpose genes to digest prey

A Penn State researcher has received funding to examine the genetic mechanisms that enable carnivorous plants to repurpose defense proteins to digest their insect prey.

Local genetic adaption helps sorghum crop hide from witchweed

Sorghum crops in areas where the agricultural parasite striga, also known as witchweed, is common are more likely to have genetic adaptations to help them resist the parasite, according to new research led by Penn State scientists.

Agricultural parasite avoids evolutionary arms race, shuts down genes of host

A parasitic plant has found a way to circumvent an evolutionary arms race with the host plants from which it steals nutrients, allowing the parasite to thrive on a variety of agriculturally important plants. The parasite dodder, an agricultural pest found on every continent, sends genetic material into its host to shut down host defense genes.

Parasitic plants use stolen genes to make them better parasites

Some parasitic plants steal genetic material from their host plants and use the stolen genes to more effectively siphon off the host’s nutrients. A new study led by researchers at Penn State and Virginia Tech reveals that the parasitic plant dodder has stolen a large amount of genetic material from its hosts, including over 100 functional genes.