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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

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Multiphoton Confocal Microscope Zeiss 710 with Mai Tai eHP Ti:sapphire laser

Image provided by Mayandi Sivaguru, Anatoli Lygin, and Dean Riechers, Dean Riechers Lab

Research funded by the University of Illinois Campus Research Board and the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service

This research investigates how, where, and why certain chemicals called ‘safeners’ increase rates of herbicide detoxification in cereal crops such as grain sorghum, and how plants respond at the molecular level to safener treatment. This image illustrates a cross section of cells from a safener-treated sorghum seedling. The researchers found that safener triggers a massive expression of glutathione S-transferase (GST) proteins, which rapidly break down herbicides, mainly in the outermost cell layers.