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Carl Bernacchi

Stronger drought resistance of urban vegetation due to higher temperature, CO2 and reduced O3

December 15, 2021

Globally, plants are reaping the benefits of elevated CO2 levels in the atmosphere by increasing photosynthesis rates, a phenomenon known as the CO2 fertilization effect. However, those benefits might be offset by drier and warmer climates caused by global warming and extreme climate events. Using data collected from urban environments, researchers at Illinois have been able to study dueling effects of climate change factors on vegetation response to drought.


December 15, 2021


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The heat is on: RIPE researchers show ability to future-proof crops

December 15, 2021

The world is warming quickly with no indication of slowing down. This could be catastrophic for the production of food crops, particularly in already warm areas. Today, research from The University of Illinois and the US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service show that bypassing a photosynthetic glitch common to crops like soybean, rice, and wheat, can confer thermal protection under heat stress in the field.  


December 15, 2021


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Illinois research shows crops have drought ‘memory,’ help reduce yield loss

November 9, 2021

According to new research from the University of Illinois, crops that experience drought conditions or extreme temperatures during their early stages of growth and survive are better able to deal with those same conditions later in their growth cycle. This ‘memory,’ or adaptation by the plant, could help reduce yield loss that year and help researchers prevent future yield loss.


November 9, 2021


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BBC’s Follow the Food to feature RIPE research

October 27, 2021

On October 29th, the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project will be featured on an episode of Follow the Food on BBC World News. Hosted by world-renowned ethnobotanist James Wong, the multimedia series focuses on the biggest pressures on the world food system including RIPE’s central mission of how to feed the growing population, and climate change, which is the focus of the current season.


October 27, 2021


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Fluorescent light clarifies relationship between heat stress, crop yield

May 24, 2021

Scientists report that it is possible to detect and predict heat damage in crops by measuring the fluorescent light signature of plant leaves experiencing heat stress. If collected via satellite, this fluorescent signal could support widespread monitoring of growth and crop yield under the heat stress of climate change, the researchers say.


May 24, 2021


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Light signal emitted during photosynthesis used to quickly screen crops

December 21, 2020

An international effort called Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) aims to transform crops' ability to turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into higher yields. To achieve this, scientists are analyzing thousands of plants to find out what tweaks to the plant's structure or its cellular machinery could increase production.


December 21, 2020


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Technology to screen for higher-yielding crop traits now more accessible

March 16, 2020

Like many industries, big data is driving innovations in agriculture. Scientists seek to analyze thousands of plants to pinpoint genetic tweaks that can boost crop production—historically, a Herculean task. To drive progress toward higher-yielding crops, a team from the University of Illinois is revolutionizing the ability to screen plants for key traits across an entire field.


March 16, 2020


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