Tag: Plant Biology

Designing plants that don’t decay

December 2, 2020

A proposed project would provide a way to store carbon indefinitely in the tissues of specially engineered plants

A photo of rainforest trees.

Making green drugs: tapping into nature without tapping it out

December 2, 2020

By learning from nature without overtaxing it, Whitehead Institute Member Jing-Ke Weng aims to help develop potent new drugs for a plethora of medical problems while addressing some of the environmental concerns of typical drug development.

Feeding a changing world

December 2, 2020

Maintaining food security in the face of climate change is a complex, multifaceted problem of global importance, and so researchers are tackling it from many different angles. Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring is starting to work on ways to engineer crops that can better survive the effects of climate change and continue to produce high yields with high nutritional value.

A good environment for sustainability research: Whitehead Institute scientists work to combat climate change

December 2, 2020

Whitehead Institute primarily focuses on biomedical research, and yet in recent years researchers in several labs here have discovered ways in which their work might contribute to climate resilience and sustainability. Scientists here are applying their skills to problems of climate change and sustainability in medicine, agriculture, and beyond.

Making medicine runs in the family

May 5, 2020

A family of enzymes in plants plays an important role in the production of many medicines. Whitehead Institute researchers discovered how the enzymes in this family diversified to produce so many different molecules, and demonstrated how this knowledge could be used to engineer novel plant-based medicines.

Harnessing the moonseed plant’s chemical know-how

April 20, 2020

Researchers discover how the vine creates a natural anti-cancer product


Images of plants, one with extra salicylic acid

Building a roadmap for salicylic acid

November 22, 2019

Whitehead Institute researchers identify missing enzymes in the biosynthetic pathway for salicylic acid, solving a decades-old puzzle

Kava plants

Multi “-omics” approach uncovers the riches of traditional global medicine

July 22, 2019

Researchers solve how the kava plant produces its pain-relieving and anti-anxiety molecules, and demonstrate an extensible method to scale and optimize their production

Electromicroscopy image of an Arabidopsis anther filled with pollen grains

Scaffolding the nursery of pollen development

March 18, 2019

Whitehead researchers identify critical components of the scaffolding that supports and protects pollen production

Illustration of scientist and trees

A Fruitful Pursuit: Plant Biology at Whitehead Institute

January 24, 2019

Decades of pioneering plant research at Whitehead Institute have led to biological insights and useful discoveries

Master of the opening game: Gerald Fink reflects on his first 50 years in science

December 31, 2018

The Annual Report’s editors asked Fink to reflect on his experiences in research, teaching, and leading Whitehead Institute.

Pollen grains

A tough case cracked

December 17, 2018

The detailed molecular structure of the inert plant material sporopollenin — key for the emergence of land plants — has been resolved

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