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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology

NC State University's belltower, lit in celebratory red as vehicles pass through a roundabout at night.

Aug 15, 2016

NC State Boosts Efforts to Commercialize Research Discoveries

CALS' Dr. Heike Sederoff is among Chancellor's Innovation Fund winners leading innovative projects designed to turn great ideas into real-world products and solutions. 

Charles Wagner walking along a mountainside

Aug 9, 2016

Student Spotlight: Wagner Helps Validate Traditional Plant-Based Medicines

Undergraduate research can take students to some interesting places. Recent Plant Biology graduate Charles Wagner (BS ’16) knows that well. Wagner spent most of the summer of 2015 on the Isle of Arran in southwest Scotland as an intern with two master herbalists from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine. 

Sirius Li

Jul 11, 2016

Li Wins Early Career Award

Dr. Xu “Sirius” Li, NC State University assistant professor of plant and microbial biology, was recently named a winner of the Phytochemical Society of North America’s Arthur C. Neish Young Investigator Award. 

Phytotron director Dr. Carole Saravitz inside and outside of the chambers.

Jun 21, 2016

Phytotron Facelift and Plant Research

NC State University's Phytotron is ready to tackle 21st century challenges of food and energy security. The National Science Foundation features the laboratory for growing plants under various combinations of strictly controlled environmental conditions in its Science Nation video series. 

Seven seedlings in containers

May 24, 2016

To Print a Plant

If NC State University’s Ross Sozzani and Tim Horn are right, three-dimensional bioprinting of plants could help push forward the field of plant improvement in a revolutionary way, allowing for the kind of improved yields needed to feed a fast-growing world population. 

Nov 18, 2015

First NC State Phytotron director passes away

Dr. Robert “Jack” Downs — who helped design NC State University’s Southeastern Plant Environmental Laboratory, or Phytotron, and served as its director for many years — has died. 

Oct 22, 2015

Study finds key molecular mechanism regulating plant translational activity

In a paper published in Cell, CALS researchers Jose Alonso and Anna Stepanova show how plants handle – at the molecular level – the release of ethylene, an important gaseous stress hormone that, among other functions, regulates plant growth and stimulates the fruit ripening process. The findings could pave the way to new techniques to engineer plants to produce better crops or to turn off certain genes. 

Aug 10, 2015

Seeding North Carolina’s future

CALS and its partners strive to make North Carolina the world’s leader in plant sciences innovation. 

Five NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences researchers examine a small dogwood plant in a pot in a laboratory setting.

Feb 5, 2015

Important implications: CALS team studies the distinct inflorescence structure of the dogwood

Dr. Bob Franks of NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has a bone to pick with those who determined that the dogwood is the state flower of North Carolina. “It actually should be called the ‘state inflorescence,’” Franks, associate professor of plant and microbial biology, said with a laugh. And Franks would know, having spent the past five years working on a National Science Foundation-funded grant to study the inflorescence architecture, or variation in the arrangement of flowers, of the dogwood. 

Feb 5, 2015

College Profile: José Alonso

Dr. José Alonso’s groundbreaking explorations in plant biology land him on a list of the world’s most influential scientists.