$9.4M NIH grant funds chronic fatigue syndrome center

$9.4M NIH grant funds chronic fatigue syndrome center

This story was originally written by Krishna Ramanujan and published by the Cornell Chronicle on September 27, 2017. The National Institutes of Health announced Sept. 27 that Cornell is one of three institutions nationwide to receive funding to establish a...
Bioreactors on a chip renew promises for algal biofuels

Bioreactors on a chip renew promises for algal biofuels

For over a decade, companies have promised a future of renewable fuel from algae. Investors interested in moving the world away from fossil fuel have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the effort, and with good reason. Algae replicate quickly, requiring...
Hot tomatoes! MPMI Cover features BTI research

Hot tomatoes! MPMI Cover features BTI research

This month, the cover of Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions features a publication by Simon Schwizer from the Martin Lab at BTI that furthers our understanding of how tomatoes are able to resist infection by Pseudomonas syringae, the causal agent of bacterial speck,...
GOBII initiative bridges plant breeding digital divide

GOBII initiative bridges plant breeding digital divide

Crop breeders in developing countries are facing challenges in their efforts to improve yields to feed growing populations, battle crop diseases, and counter the effects of drought, salinity and poor soils. Modern genomic tools that make breeding new varieties...
Science In Real Life: GMOs with the Van Eck Lab

Science In Real Life: GMOs with the Van Eck Lab

Follow along with Molly Edwards, the creator of Science In Real Life (IRL), as she heads to the Van Eck Lab and demystifies GMOs by showing how they’re made in the lab and discussing their safety to consumers. Science IRL is a YouTube series supported by the American...
Maize in Maricopa: An Interview with Intern Michael Miller

Maize in Maricopa: An Interview with Intern Michael Miller

Picture this: one day, you’re at BTI on the first day of your new internship, networking with other students and getting settled. Soon after, you’re up bright and early harvesting maize samples on a hot, sunny day in Arizona. That is exactly what PGRP intern Michael...
Newly-published spinach genome will make more than Popeye stronger

Newly-published spinach genome will make more than Popeye stronger

“I’m strong to the finich, ‘cause I eats me spinach!” said Popeye the Sailor Man. While you may not gulp spinach by the can-fuls, if you love spanakopita or your go-to appetizer is spinach artichoke dip, then you’ll be excited to know that new research out of Boyce...
Global partnerships for improving cassava

Global partnerships for improving cassava

Cassava is a tough plant. It can withstand drought and grow in marginal soils while still yielding its crop of starchy roots. Its tubers can stay in the ground, waiting for harvest until other food sources run low. But breeders and scientists in Africa are working to...
BTI researchers share latest research at ag-genomics conference

BTI researchers share latest research at ag-genomics conference

The offices of data scientists at BTI emptied out earlier this month as a contingent of researchers flew to San Diego for the 25th annual Plant and Animal Genome Conference. Genomic researchers from around the world gathered at the meeting to network, consult with...
Cilia receives Presidential Early Career Award

Cilia receives Presidential Early Career Award

Michelle Cilia has been selected to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which recognizes outstanding, government-funded scientists who show great potential for becoming leaders in their field and for expanding the frontiers...
Jujube genome study sheds light on fruit tree’s domestication

Jujube genome study sheds light on fruit tree’s domestication

The high quality genome sequence of the dry jujube, along with sequences from trees throughout its range, have illuminated the domestication history of this ancient fruit tree, which humans have grown for more than 7,000 years. Researchers at the Boyce Thompson...
Why the whitefly is such a formidable threat to food security

Why the whitefly is such a formidable threat to food security

Researchers have sequenced the genome of the whitefly (Bemisia tabici), an invasive insect responsible for spreading plant viruses worldwide, causing billions of dollars in crop losses each year. The genome study, led by Associate Professor Zhangjun Fei of the Boyce...
Tanzania to improve cassava in Africa with NextGen Cassava project

Tanzania to improve cassava in Africa with NextGen Cassava project

Tanzania recently became a partner of the Next Generation Cassava Breeding project (NextGen), joining Nigeria and Uganda in the global effort to improve cassava breeding in Africa. This partnership is expected to enhance the project’s efforts to improve livelihoods...
Genetic changes in tomatoes may help crops produce early and often

Genetic changes in tomatoes may help crops produce early and often

Home gardeners in the U.S. and Europe can thank early tomato growers, who selected plants that ignore seasonal changes in day length, for enabling their backyard bounty. Wild plants have evolved to consider the lengthening and shortening of days when deciding the...
GOBII releases open-source tools for faster plant breeding

GOBII releases open-source tools for faster plant breeding

The collaboration works with breeding centers around the world to identify unmet needs and has developed tools to make the process of adding a trait into an existing, high-yield crop variety more efficient. Researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement...
VirusDetect: a new pipeline for virus identification

VirusDetect: a new pipeline for virus identification

Researchers studying the viruses that affect agricultural production or human health now have a new tool for investigating where viruses have spread, on a local, national, or even global scale. VirusDetect is a free, open-source bioinformatics pipeline that can...
Citrus-growing regions face different pressures

Citrus-growing regions face different pressures

Citrus growers are uniting to save their groves from citrus greening disease and to fund research into solutions, but growers in California face different challenges than those in Florida, report BTI and USDA researchers. John Ramsey, a USDA Agricultural Research...
‘New Visions’ of food security from Cassandra Proctor

‘New Visions’ of food security from Cassandra Proctor

BTI intern Cassandra Proctor has developed a self-described “obsession” with food security. The first-year plant science major at Cornell University developed a newfound fascination with plants through her internship in the lab of BTI Professor Maria Harrison her...
Citrus Greening Pathogen Has Gut-Wrenching Effect on Insect Vector

Citrus Greening Pathogen Has Gut-Wrenching Effect on Insect Vector

The bacterium that causes citrus greening disease is not only decimating citrus orchards, but wreaks havoc in the guts of the insect that transmits it. Cells in the midgut of the Asian citrus psyllid self-destruct when infected with the citrus greening bacterium,...
New System in Tomato’s Defense against Bacterial Speck Disease

New System in Tomato’s Defense against Bacterial Speck Disease

Researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and Virginia Tech have discovered a new mechanism in the continual arms race between plants and pathogenic bacteria, which tomatoes use to detect the causal agent of bacterial speck disease. The team identified a new...
More Tomatoes, Faster: Van Eck Accelerates Tomato Engineering

More Tomatoes, Faster: Van Eck Accelerates Tomato Engineering

Tomatoes are already an ideal model species for plant research, but scientists at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) just made them even more useful by cutting the time required to modify their genes by six weeks. While looking for ways to make tomatoes and other crop...
Researchers Sequence Genome of “Gluttonous” Tobacco Hornworm

Researchers Sequence Genome of “Gluttonous” Tobacco Hornworm

An international team of researchers has sequenced the genome of the tobacco hornworm—a caterpillar species used in many research laboratories for studies of insect biology. Professor Gary Blissard of the Boyce Thompson Institute, located at Cornell University, and...
“Hackathon” Breeds Momentum for Plant Breeding Software

“Hackathon” Breeds Momentum for Plant Breeding Software

Sometimes the only way to get something done is to get everyone in a room and hack out a solution, especially when “everyone” is an international group of programmers from plant breeding centers working to create a single interface to unite databases from breeding...
Researchers Receive $1.7M NIH Grant for Nematode Behavior Work

Researchers Receive $1.7M NIH Grant for Nematode Behavior Work

The National Institutes of Health has granted $1.7 million to Frank Schroeder, Associate Professor at the Boyce Thompson Institute, research associate Alexander Artyukhin and Professor Shawn Lockery of the University of Oregon in Eugene, to explore a fascinating...
Singlet Oxygen Can Both Damage and Signal Repair in the Chloroplast

Singlet Oxygen Can Both Damage and Signal Repair in the Chloroplast

Plants love sunlight, but too much of a good thing can be harmful: excess light can disrupt photosynthesis and create damaging oxygen compounds called reactive oxygen species (ROS). But despite the bad reputation of ROS, their production in a plant cell’s chloroplast...
Students Become Gene Detectives to Fight Citrus Greening

Students Become Gene Detectives to Fight Citrus Greening

Scientists nationwide and around the globe are working together to make sense of the genome of the Asian citrus psyllid—an insect that is spreading a bacterium that is devastating citrus crops—and they aren’t letting geography get in their way. Each week, a group of...
The Watermelon’s Past, Present, and Future

The Watermelon’s Past, Present, and Future

While most people enjoy a slice of watermelon on a summer afternoon, many would be surprised to learn that the watermelon is the largest fruit crop in the world*. Humans produce more than 100 million tons of the watermelon fruit each year. Watermelon is especially...
BTI Researcher Elected to National Academy of Sciences

BTI Researcher Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Jim Giovannoni, Boyce Thompson Institute professor, USDA scientist and Cornell University adjunct professor of plant biology, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Giovannoni, who is known for his research on tomato fruit ripening and his participation...
The Night Class: BTI Opens Lab to Community College Course

The Night Class: BTI Opens Lab to Community College Course

Anyone staying late in the lab at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) on a Thursday night will witness a small but dedicated group of Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) students and a BTI graduate student or postdoc huddled around a microscope, discussing basic...
High-throughput CRISPR Vector Construction Using Tomato Hairy Roots

High-throughput CRISPR Vector Construction Using Tomato Hairy Roots

High-throughput CRISPR Vector Construction and Characterization of DNA Modifications by Generation of Tomato Hairy Roots Postdoctoral researcher Thomas Jacobs from Greg Martin’s lab, uses tomato hairy roots to demonstrate how multiple CRISPR vectors can be constructed...
Discovery Shows Parallels between Plant and Human Immune Systems

Discovery Shows Parallels between Plant and Human Immune Systems

A protein that signals tissue damage to the human immune system has a counterpart that plays a similar role in plants, report researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI). Professor Daniel Klessig and colleagues have identified a new damage-associated molecular...
Threatened Plant Gets Boost from BTI Biotech Lab

Threatened Plant Gets Boost from BTI Biotech Lab

Woodland agrimony isn’t much to look at—the short plant with jagged leaves and tiny yellow flowers is likely to be overlooked on an afternoon hike—but this rare, threatened plant got a high-tech hand from researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI). BTI...
Roy Park Jr. Enhances Family Commitment to BTI

Roy Park Jr. Enhances Family Commitment to BTI

Many aspects of daily life at BTI have changed since the 1980s—presidents have come and gone, faculty have joined and retired and research programs have changed and evolved—but for most of the last 32 years, the BTI board has included a member of the Park family. Roy...
The Herbivores Dilemma

The Herbivores Dilemma

Corn seedlings are especially susceptible to hungry insect herbivores, such as caterpillars and aphids, because they lack woody stems and tough leaves. So what’s a tender, young corn plant to do? A recent study by Professor Georg Jander’s group at the Boyce Thompson...

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