Tag: Plant Biology

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

Slide of a plant embryo

Plant characteristics shaped by parental conflict

November 19, 2018

Differences in common traits within a plant species, such as seed size, can be determined by more than gene sequence.

Image of goji berries

Heart-healthy plant chemistry

October 29, 2018

A novel genomic approach helps identify medicinal compounds in plants.

Picture of a golden root plant

Harnessing nature’s riches

December 19, 2017

With unique sustainable engineering method, a team of Whitehead Institute researchers unlocks the biochemistry needed to synthesize key substance from rare medicinal plant.

Images of Arabidopsis seeds

Small RNA mediates genetic parental conflict in seed endosperm

December 19, 2017

When it comes to gene expression in the endosperm of seeds, gene provenance matters. In this specialized tissue, plants actively strive to keep the expression of genes inherited from the mother versus the father in balance, according to Whitehead Institute scientists.

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