39 North Innovation District Plan Unveiled
The Science in Our Food
Burst of Morning Gene Activity Tells Plants When to Flower “This work showed us that plants are integrating many different signals together when making the critical decision of when to flower,” Dr. Nusinow said.
Monday, September 24, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Business Journal) Danforth Center partners with Wells Fargo to expand company’s incubator program Partnership to advance solutions aimed at the interconnection of food, water and energy
Friday, September 14, 2018 READ MORE
The Ag Innovation Showcase launched by the Danforth Center in 2009 has helped put St. Louis on the map as an ag tech hub for scientists, entrepreneurs and investors.
Monday, September 10, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Business Journal) 12 companies presenting at next week’s Ag Innovation Showcase Among the presenting agtech and food companies is Plastomics, which is based at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Friday, September 7, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Business Journal) How St. Louis became the heart of global agtech "39 North is an extension of Dr. Danforth’s vision to make St. Louis a world center for plant science and innovation,” said Sam Fiorello, COO, Danforth Center and president of BRDG Park.
Friday, August 17, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Business Journal) Danforth Center partners with Saint Louis University “We are excited for Allison to join us as a joint faculty member with SLU,” Jim Carrington, president of the Danforth Center, said in a statement.
Thursday, August 16, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Joint SLU, Danforth scientist expands research collaboration “I am delighted for the opportunity to bridge SLU and the Danforth Center through a joint appointment,” Miller said in a statement.
(WIRED) European Ruling Could Slow Africa’s Push For Crispr Crops Many European scientists cheered back in January when it seemed the court of the European Union would ease its restrictions on gene-editing technology in food.
Thursday, July 26, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Public Radio) Brookings touts agtech cluster in St. Louis After two decades of building, the region’s agricultural technology cluster is poised to take off
(EQ) From Science Research To IoT Device Design: Plant Analytics Startup Grows With Arch Grants Dr. Nadia Shakoor is pioneering the future of agriculture and plant research with an IoT-enabled phenotyping and data collection device. She opens up about her debut in the business world.
Thursday, June 28, 2018 READ MORE
(Modern Agriculture) The Future of Food and Farming Agriculture in 2050: Big Challenges, Bigger Dreams
Friday, June 15, 2018 READ MORE
(Innovation City) Dr. Jim Carrington on Innovation City Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Banners tout St. Louis County's new 39 North agricultural technology district Banners attached to streetlight poles were added Tuesday along Olive Boulevard for 39 North
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Sugarcane research company to open North American headquarters in St. Louis The world’s largest sugarcane technology company selects BRDG Park
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 READ MORE
CTC Genomics selects St. Louis as the site of its North American research headquarters Brazilian Ag Bio Firm Specializes in Sugarcane
(New York Times) How a Rose Blooms: Its Genome Reveals the Traits for Scent and Color Study marks a new “democratization” of plant research resulting from more widely available, affordable and detailed genome sequencing
Monday, April 30, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Business Journal) Danforth Center to take discoveries to market with new hire Don MacKenzie is tasked overseeing the regulatory processes to bring the Danforth Center's technologies to market.
Friday, April 13, 2018 READ MORE
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) 39 North plant science district gets trail, road planning funds Plans are in motion to rework roads and improve incubator space
Friday, March 2, 2018 READ MORE
(Ag Professional) The Future of Ag Tech in the Midwest
The development of new technology in agriculture has helped encourage young people
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 READ MORE
(Agri-Pulse) Who is leading the charge for new precision breeding tools?
Plenty of precision breeding innovation
(St. Louis Public Radio) St. Louis plant scientists use podcast to dig deep into the struggles of research
Researchers Liz Haswell and Ivan Baxter spend most their time trying to understand how plants function.
Monday, January 8, 2018 READ MORE
(HEC-TV) New Smart Crop-Monitoring Platform Alerts Farmers & Growers About Their Crops
Researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center have created a crop phenotyping station called the PheNode.
Wednesday, January 3, 2018 READ MORE
(KMOX) C-Speak Podcast: Sam Fiorello
Mark Reardon talks with Sam Fiorello on the C-Speak Podcast, the language of executives by KMOX
Friday, December 29, 2017 READ MORE
(Talking Biotech Podcast) Control of Aflatoxin in Groundnut
Dilip Shah and a team of researchers worked to devise a multi-faceted plan to protect groundnut from fungal infections.
Saturday, December 23, 2017 READ MORE
(MIT Technology Review) These Are Not Your Father's GMOS
A new wave of gene-edited crops are dodging regulators, and they're about to reach stores.
Thursday, December 21, 2017 READ MORE
New Hire to Advance Human Resources
Danforth Center Welcomes Anna Dibble
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 READ MORE
(Forbes) Collaboration Provides Hope In The Battle Against Mycotoxin Induced Cancer In The Developing World
There is new hope for a solution to this vexing health issue based on a recent collaboration between groups of scientists in the US and in India.
Saturday, November 4, 2017 READ MORE
(AgFunder News) Is St. Louis the Silicon Valley of Agtech?
St. Louis has worked hard to be a magnet for Fortune 500 companies. Nine members of this elite class call the city home, not the least of which is multinational agricultural giant Monsanto.
Thursday, November 2, 2017 READ MORE
DuPont Pioneer and Danforth Center Collaborate to Apply Cutting-Edge Technologies to Improve Crops for Smallholder Farmers
The suite of technologies DuPont Pioneer is providing to the project is revolutionary
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 READ MORE
National Science Foundation Funds Multi-Institutional Project to Improve Harvests of One of the Most Important Crops in U.S. Agriculture
Danforth Center Receives $3.4M to Improve Maize Architecture
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 READ MORE
U.S. Department of Energy Awards Danforth Center $16M to Enhance Sorghum for Bioenergy A multi-institutional research effort aims to optimize photosynthesis and water use efficiency
Monday, October 2, 2017 READ MORE
TechAccel Invests in Unique Sprayable RNAi Pesticide Technology First “Path to Commercialization” Grant Awarded to Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Monday, September 11, 2017 READ MORE
Why a St. Louis event could be one of agtech’s biggest disruptors: 4 questions with Bayer's R&D head
Monday marks the start of the ninth annual Ag Innovation Showcase.
Monday, September 11, 2017 READ MORE
The Future of Agriculture is Center Stage at Ag Innovation Showcase
Bees, new food sources and machine learning are leading trends
Thursday, August 31, 2017 READ MORE
(St. Louis Business Journal) Greitens touts Israeli relationship as economic generator
St. Louis is already home to a number of Israeli-founded companies that have moved to the area thanks to GlobalSTL, an initiative started and organized by BioSTL several years ago.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 READ MORE
Analysis Linking Field and Controlled Environments Reveals Key Traits Controlling Height
Discovery could help improve yield in food and bioenergy crops
Monday, July 10, 2017 READ MORE
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NSF Invests in Collaborative Research to Improve Key Crops’ Resilience to Higher Temperatures Research addresses concerns about reduced harvests of corn and other cereal grasses
ST. LOUIS, MO, August 30, 2018 – The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center today announced a four-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Research Program, titled, The Role of Meiotic-Stage Non-Coding RNA in the Modulation of Anther & Pollen Development in Grasses. The research led by Blake Meyers, Ph.D., principal investigator and member, Danforth Center and Professor, Division of Plant Sciences, at the University of Missouri, will focus on the understanding of small RNA pathways involved in anther development and crop development when plants are challenged by adverse environmental conditions. The collaborative effort brings together expertise in plant genomics and targeted mutagenesis, cutting-edge imaging techniques, and bioinformatics, with a focus on developmental biology to meet the demands of producing more nutritious food, in climates with higher temperatures.
Meyers and his collaborators at Stanford University and the University of Delaware will investigate the lifecycle and functions of a class of RNAs that support anther development in grass flowers. Anthers are critical in the reproduction of flowering plants, because they are the site of pollen development and contain the sperm cells necessary for reproduction. Prior research has demonstrated that anther development will often stall or fail under high temperatures, leaving the plants sterile or with reduced fertility, thus decreasing the harvest.
Anthers are particularly important to the production of hybrid corn seed. Corn is one of the most important crops in global agriculture, in part because of the widespread use of hybrid seeds that have high yields. Knowledge gained from this research can also be extended to wheat and barley, two important cereal grains.
“A more detailed understanding of the molecular basis of pollen development and male fertility enables improvements in seed production, including hybrid seeds; in the grasses, hybrid corn and rice have significantly boosted world food production. Outcomes could include new genetic pathways for more precise control of male fertility and plants with fertility that is more resilient to distressed environments,” said Meyers.
Prior work demonstrated that these small RNAs are required for robust male fertility under even slightly stressful temperature perturbations: in the absence of the RNAs and under normal field conditions, development fails, yielding male sterility and thus linking environmental conditions to the role of these small RNAs. The project will focus on maize anthers because of the ease of staging and dissection, the numerous developmental mutants with cloned genes, and the importance of understanding male fertility to the production of hybrid corn seed.
“Anthers on corn have this beautiful organization of tissue layers that develops as different small RNAs are expressed at various times during the anther’s development. Imaging can help visualize and quantify these small RNAs in relation to other things happening within the cell, and inform understanding of how these small RNAs regulate pollen development,” said Jeffrey Caplan, University of Delaware associate professor of plant and soil sciences and director of the bioimaging center at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.
The research project will also include training of students in plant and computational biology via continued integration with long-running and successful undergraduate and high school internship programs.
About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education and outreach aim to have impact at the nexus of food security and the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.
University of Delaware The University of Delaware (UD), founded in 1743, is the eighth oldest university in the country. UD’s storied tradition of academic excellence continues today in both the classroom and laboratory, with consistent ranking among the top 30 public universities. Beyond its Georgian-inspired main campus in Newark, Delaware, UD has locations across the state—in Wilmington, Dover, Georgetown and Lewes.
UD is a state-assisted, privately governed institution and one of a select group of institutions in the nation to hold the triple Land-Grant, Sea-Grant and Space-Grant designation. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies UD as a doctoral university with highest research activity—a designation accorded less than 3 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. UD also has received the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement classification for its deep engagement with local, regional, national and global communities.
The University’s student body encompasses about 19,000 undergraduates, more than 4,000 graduate students and more than 800 students in professional and continuing studies from across the country and around the globe. More than 300 degree programs are offered through its seven colleges, spanning the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. UD’s distinguished faculty includes internationally known authors, scientists and artists, Guggenheim and Fulbright fellows and members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
For additional information, contact:
Melanie Bernds, (314) 587-1647 firstname.lastname@example.org
| NSFDelawaredanforth centerBlake MeyersAnther & Pollen Development