Incremental discovery may one day lead to photosynthetic breakthrough

While we have modeled the more-than-100 major steps of photosynthesis, scientists are still discovering the purpose of proteins that can be engineered to increase yield. RIPE has uncovered secrets about another protein, CP12—the full understanding of which may provide an additional route to boost yields in the future.

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New 3D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

As farmers survey their fields this summer, several questions come to mind: How many plants germinated per acre? How does altering row spacing affect my yields? Does it make a difference if I plant my rows north to south or east to west? Now a computer model can answer these questions by comparing billions of virtual fields with different planting densities, row spacings, and orientations.

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Adapting plants to global change

How do you feed 7 billion people? How do you grow that much food? That’s the question that confronts plant biologists. As the world population continues to grow, and change, researchers like RIPE Director Stephen Long are looking for more ways to grow more food, more quickly.

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Paris Climate Conference speaker weighs in on President Trump’s decision to pull out of accord

On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced the United States is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, a global effort to reduce greenhouse emissions to limit global warming to an increase of two degrees Celsius.

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Mark your calendar for the 2017 Food & Fuel Field Day

Media, industry and policymakers are invited to see the plants that could help feed and fuel the world by 2050 and meet the scientists who engineered them at the 2017 Food & Fool Field Day on Thursday, July 13, at the University of Illinois Energy Farm. This free, day-long event will be held rain or shine with intimate round-table discussions, hands-on field tours and robot demonstrations, and one-on-one interviews.

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RIPE associate director elected to NAS

RIPE Associate Director Donald Ort is among four University of Illinois professors elected to the National Academy of Sciences this year.

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Newly characterized protein has potential to save U.S. farmers millions annually

Instead of turning carbon into food, many plants accidentally make a plant-toxic compound during photosynthesis that is recycled through a process called photorespiration. University of Illinois and USDA/ ARS researchers report in Plant Cell the discovery of a key protein in this process, which they hope to manipulate to increase plant productivity.

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Cloudy days cost yield until scientists hacked photosynthesis

Throughout the growing season seemingly benign clouds pass over millions of acres of crops and inadvertently rob plants of their productivity, costing untold bushels of potential yield. Researchers recently reported in the journal Science that they have engineered a solution and increased the productivity of a crop in the field by 14- 20 percent—they believe this fix could be applied to staple food crops to help meet future global food demands.

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Research shows how to grow more cassava, one of the world’s key food crops

What root vegetable is toxic eaten raw but a hunger quencher when cooked, and provides both tapioca flour and the pearls in bubble tea? This question probably will stump many Americans, but is easy for people in the developing world.

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RIPE leadership rank among world’s most influential researchers

RIPE leaders Steve Long and Don Ort have been named to the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016, previously known as the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers.

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