The fungi that live in the seeds and in the leaves of plants play a part in the overall health and productivity of their host plants. That role isn’t well-defined despite big implications of that understanding for farmers and other land managers.

| Alison Takemura

You might know sorghum as an edible grain. But there are some sorghum varieties, grown on marginal land with little water, which were developed specifically to turn their biomass into sustainable biofuel and bioproducts. John Mullet, a biologist at Texas A&M University, tells us how sorghum’s historical — and literal — roots could play a big role in our energy future.

| Mary Riker
This week we sat down with Jun Feng, a postdoctoral researcher in Ophelia Venturelli's research group at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, to talk about engineering microorganisms for biomanufacturing and what led him to UW–Madison.
| Mary Riker
Researchers at GLBRC and the South China University of Technology have developed a faster and less chemically intensive spectroscopy-based procedure called the Cysteine-Assisted Sulfuric Acid (CASA) method. The approach uses a new reagent combination of the amino acid cysteine and sulfuric acid to completely dissolve lignocellulosic biomass under less extreme conditions than traditional methods.
| Mark Griffin
A key discovery by Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center scientists reveals how root interactions among Midwest prairie perennials, including the bioenergy crop switchgrass, increase soil carbon when grown in specific pairings. These beneficial plant combinations also created more soil pores that support fungi that are associated with soil carbon accrual.
| Mary Riker
This week we sat down with Surajudeen Omolabake, a graduate student in Shannon Stahl’s lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, to talk about creating useful chemicals from wood, his dogs Sky and Cecille, and what led him to UW–Madison.
| Jill Sakai

Microbial communities are everywhere in the environment. The interactions among these complex networks of organisms shape the overall community function and metabolism, sometimes in unexpected ways.

| Mary Riker

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Vanderbilt University will use a $2.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to chart the evolution of over one-thousand budding yeast species across the span of four hundred million years.

| Ashley Carlin

Bioenergy crops are an alternative energy source that, unlike fossil fuels, could positively impact the environment by reducing greenhouse gases, soil erosion, and carbon dioxide levels. They can be produced even more sustainably if they are grown on poor quality land unsuitable for food.

| Ben Cook
Congratulations to Federica Brandizzi and Robert Last who were awarded the title of University Distinguished Professor in recognition of their exceptional teaching abilities, prominent record of public service, and scholarly, creative and artistic achievements.