Research News Yearly Archive
November 20, 2019
In a historic collaboration, The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University welcomed Chinese botanists from the North America-China Plant Exploration Consortium (NACPEC) on a joint expedition to the Appalachian Mountains to collect seed from North American plants to grow in scientific plant collections in China. Harvard Gazette»
August 7, 2019
2018 DaRin Butz Intern Matthew Fertakos was selected as a 2019 Undergraduate Research Prize (URP) recipient by ASPT for his work on North American chestnuts with Dr. Wendy Clement at the College of New Jersey and Dr. Elizabeth Spriggs, Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow.
August 6, 2019
Un misterio persiguió a Darwin hasta sus últimos días. ¿Cómo habían surgido las flores? ¿Cómo se habían dispersado y diversificado tan rápido? ¿La naturaleza daba saltos? De ser así toda su teoría podía estar en peligro. Esto y muchas otras cosas sobre ese “misterio abominable” lo podéis encontrar en el artículo basado en el trabajo de William Friedman.
June 7, 2019
In the American Journal of Botany, Arboretum Putnam Fellow, Elizabeth Spriggs and colleagues investigated closely related species of Viburnum using sequencing and herbarium specimens. They found that flowering time differences helped maintain separation of species in populations growing in close proximity. Abstract»
May 8, 2019
In experiments conducted at the Arboretum, Elizabeth Wolkovich and colleagues showed that plant genetics can help provide more accurate predictions of when plants will break bud in spring as climate change progresses.
April 16, 2019
Each spring the Arnold Arboretum awards funding to a number of independent research projects submitted by students, post-doctoral researchers, and biological and horticultural science professionals.
April 15, 2019
A major NSF grant to enhance research, teaching, and public information on topics related to biological diversity has been awarded to Robin Hopkins .
February 11, 2019
As a Putnam Fellow, Jessica Savage focused on how the vascular system influences the timing of flowering in trees. Published in American Journal of Botany, her research shows that trees that flower before they leaf out invest more resources for flower development the previous year rather than in the spring before the vascular system is fully functional. Abstract»
January 1, 2019
The process of whole-genome duplication, or polyploidy, plays an important role in the formation of new species. Franchesco Molina‐Henao and Robin Hopkins examined this role in diploid and polyploid populations of Arabidopsis arenosa in new work published in American Journal of Botany. Abstract»
October 3, 2018
Harold Suárez-Baron, a PhD candidate at the University of Antioquia in Colombia, received a Deland Award at the Arnold Arboretum to study Dutchman's pipevines (Aristolochia), particularly their unusual mechanism for attracting and retaining flies for pollination.
August 1, 2018
Understanding the role of different cues, like temperature and chilling, is important to predict how plant phenology, or the timing of life cycle events, will respond to climate change. Published in New Phytologist, Dan Flynn and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Wolkovich manipulated various cues using a growth chamber to understand this complex process. Abstract»
June 28, 2018
While floral diversity has been studied extensively in animal-pollinated plants, much less is understood about why wind-pollinated plants also exhibit diversity in reproductive structures. Published in Annals of Botany, Juan Losada, Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum, and Andrew Leslie, Assistant Professor at Brown University examined this diversity in conifers. Abstract »
May 25, 2018
Dr. Marjorie Lundgren, a postdoctoral research associate at MIT and visiting fellow of the Arnold Arboretum, won a British Ecological Society Small Research Grant for a project exploring perenniality in Brachypodium grasses, in collaboration with Professors David Des Marais of MIT and Barry Logan of Bowdoin College. Congratulations Marjorie!
May 23, 2018
Robin Hopkins was awarded the Harvard Fannie Cox Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching. This awards recognizes Robin's dedication to teaching complex concepts in life sciences while inspiring her students to pursue science careers. Congratulations Robin!
May 1, 2018
Published in Gene, Austin Garner with colleagues Ben Goulet, Matt Farnitano, Francesco Molina, and Robin Hopkins, review the process of reinforcement, the evolution of traits that prevent costly hybridization. The review article focuses on how genomics can be leveraged to understand reinforcement. Abstract »
March 1, 2018
Supported by a Sinnott Award, Callin Switzer with colleagues Robin Hopkins and Stacy Combes examined the unique method of pollination in mountain laurel. With the anther filaments acting as catapults, the pollen reaches speeds of 8 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest moving plants in the world! Abstract » Harvard Gazette »
February 3, 2018
Scientists estimate that food supplies will need to double by 2050 to meet demand. In greenhouse experiments conducted at the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard researchers discovered a way to more than double crop size by introducing a soil bacterium that converts nitrogen from the atmosphere into robust and sustainable fertilizer. Harvard gazette»
January 8, 2018
Most wine is produced from the same 12 varieties of grapes, a huge concern for growers in the face of climate change. Published in Nature Climate Change, Elizabeth Wolkovich, Ignacio Morales-Castilla, and colleagues discuss how the other ~1100 varieties of grapes and the diversity of their attributes may play an important role in the future. Read more »
December 15, 2017
While the pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is one of few native North American fruit trees, not much is known about its flower and fruit development. Juan Losada (Arboretum Fellow), Iñaki Hormaza, and Jorge Lora (Jewett Prize Recipient) examined its development in American Journal of Botany. Complementing this work, the genome of Asimina triloba 12708*A is being sequenced with support from an Arboretum Sequencing Award. abstract »
December 8, 2017
New research in Nature Plants by Jessica Savage, Juan Losada, and Missy Holbrook finally answers the long standing question of how trees maintain efficient sugar transport as they grow taller. They found that the phloem structure, the vascular tissue that transports carbohydrates, changes with increasing height. abstract » Harvard Gazette»
October 26, 2017
The Arboretum is pleased to announce that you now have a choice in how you watch Arboretum Research Talks. Starting on Monday at 12:10pm, you can attend a talk in person or you can watch live on the Arboretum's YouTube channel. Research talks dive deep into the data and are free and open to the public.
August 23, 2017
Austin Garner is a PhD student in the Hopkins Lab starting this Fall. Austin was awarded both the Herchel Smith Graduate Fellowship from Harvard University and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support his doctoral studies. Congratulations Austin!
August 7, 2017
The early evolution of flowers remains something of a mystery. As part of her Master's research, Kristel Schoonderwoerd, PhD Candidate in the Friedman Lab, joined a large international team to reconstruct the ancestral flower based on DNA and floral characteristics of known flowers. The results are published in Nature Communications. more » abstract»
July 25, 2017
David Des Marais, Senior Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum and Research Associate in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, has accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at MIT. Starting in October, he will be the first plant biologist in the department. Congratulations Dave!
June 22, 2017
New research by Dave Des Marais and coworkers examined the gene expression networks involved in the response to cold and drought stress. Published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, they showed that the relationships of genes in these networks affect how plant populations respond and adapt to their environment. abstract »
June 20, 2017
Juan M. Losada, Julien Bachelier and William (Ned) Friedman examined embryo development in Austrobaileya scandens, an early diverging angiosperm (flowering plant). They discuss the large seed size and prolonged duration of development in new work published in New Phytologist. Flowering video » abstract »
May 24, 2017
With the eye, the drone and the satellite, researchers, Margaret Kosmala, David Basler (Sinnott and Sargent Awardees), Richard Primack and Eli Melaas (Boston University) are looking closely at individual trees to track changes in phenology (life events like leafing out) due to climate change. Read more at undark.org
May 18, 2017
Callin Switzer from the Hopkins Lab passed his PhD defense making him the first Arboretum graduate student to earn his doctorate. Callin has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in the eScience Institute at the University of Washington. Congratulations Dr. Switzer!
April 1, 2017
Federico Roda, Robin Hopkins and colleagues used genomic analyses to examine the role of gene flow in flower color divergence in Phlox drummondii. Comparing transcriptomes between four Phlox species, they found asymmetric gene flow consistent with the asymmetric morphological divergence in flower color. The results are published in Molecular Ecology. abstract »
March 31, 2017
Each year, the Arnold Arboretum selects a number of exciting independent research projects to support through its diverse array of endowed fellowship and award funds. The 2017 Fellows and Awardees are students, post-doctoral researchers, and biological and horticultural science professionals whose studies will utilize Arboretum plants, records, herbaria, library collections, or expertise.
March 25, 2017
Studying stem samples from a suite of 30 deciduous, flowering plant species collected in the Arboretum, Putnam Fellow Kasia Ziemińska is illuminating how plants store and regulate water, particularly under drought stress.
February 28, 2017
Published in New Phytologist, Dave Des Marais and coworkers explored the ability of plants to respond to multiple environmental cues experienced simultaneously. Examining 35 natural varieties of the grass Brachypodium distachyon grown under differing environmental conditions, they found that the response to a single cue did not directly predict the response to multiple cues. abstract »
January 2, 2017
Peter Del Tredici (Arnold Arboretum Senior Research Scientist Emeritus) and David Orwig (Harvard Forest Senior Ecologist) examined natural populations of eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis. Published in Rhodora, they found that the populations employed a layering strategy that involves changing the growth orientation of branches which rejuvenated the populations in stressful environments. abstract »
October 19, 2016
How can butterfly behavior influence plant evolution? On the latest episode of Science IRL, Arnold Arboretum scientists Robin Hopkins and Heather Briggs take us through their research investigating this question. Watch the episode to get an inside look at their research into the effects of pipevine swallowtail behavior on the evolution of flower color in the wildflower Phlox!
September 23, 2016
Some flowers release pollen out of small pores in the anthers. Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) coax this pollen out by vibrating their bodies (buzz pollination or sonication). In research published in Apidologie, Callin Switzer and colleagues observed bumblebees in the urban environment of the Arboretum, the rural environment of the Concord Field Station and in the greenhouse. They found that they alter their sonication behavior depending on which plants they visit and the environmental conditions. abstract »
September 15, 2016
David Des Marais (Senior Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum) has been awarded a grant from the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute to investigate the genetic basis of annual and perennial strategies in plants. Congratulations Dave! more »
July 14, 2016
Kasia Zieminska was awarded an Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellowship. Kasia received her PhD in 2014 from Macquarie University in Sydney Australia where she worked with Mark Westoby and Ian Wright. At the Arboretum, Kasia will be studying the relationship between diversity in anatomical structure and water storage mechanisms and how this relationship influences plant biodiversity and ecological strategies. She will be focusing on ~25 diverse species in the Arboretum. Congratulations Kasia!
July 11, 2016
In new work published in Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Elizabeth Wolkovich, Arboretum scientist and assistant professor in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, reviews the complexities in soil food webs, including nutrient recycling, omnivory, and the channels through which energy and resources flow. abstract »
June 24, 2016
In a newly published study, Rosanne Healy (2013 Sargent Award recipient) and colleagues detected eight truffle species (genus Tuber), including a brand new species previously unknown to science, in the root communities of some of our trees. To honor the location of its discovery, the truffle has been named Tuber arnoldianum. abstract» Read more in the Boston Globe.
June 3, 2016
Stacey Leicht-Young (2013 Putnam Fellow), Rosanne Healy (2013 Sargent Award recipient) and Peter Del Tredici (Senior Scientist Emeritus) collaborated on a project to examine the associations of nonnative plants with the native fungal community in the field. They found that Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb. or Oriental bittersweet is colonized by native endomycorrhizal fungi, potentially aiding the ability of oriental bittersweet to move into new landscapes. abstract »
May 27, 2016
Chase Mason, Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow, has accepted a faculty position as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Central Florida. Chase will be starting this position in the January of 2017. Congratulations Chase!
May 19, 2016
The Arboretum is pleased to announce the 2016 Arboretum Award recipients. Several graduate students are being supported by these awards including Alexander Susko and Jonathan Mahoney (Deland Award), Callin Switzer (Sinnott Award), Meng Li (Hu Award) and Meghna Krishnadas (Ashton Award). Adam Roddy (post-doctoral fellow at Yale University) and Danilo Fernando (Associate Professor at the State University of New York) were awarded the Jewett Prize. The research of Kuo-Fang Chung (Associate Research Fellow in Taiwan) and Dan Sullivan (Arnold Arboretum Visiting Fellow) is supported by the Sargent Award. Congratulations!
April 25, 2016
Kristel Schoonderwoerd and William (Ned) Friedman closely examined the timing and morphology of ovule and seed development in Franklinia alatamaha. They found a very unusual situation. The zygote undergoes dormancy shortly after fertilization until the following growing season. Seed development is completed an entire year after fertilization has occurred. The results are published in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. abstract »
April 21, 2016
Pollination drops are ovular secretions that form a landing site for pollen in many gymnosperms. Arboretum Putnam Fellow Cary Pirone-Davies and coworkers characterized both the proteins present in the pollination drops and the ovule transcriptome in Cephalotaxus. The results published in Annals of Botany, shed light on the pollination biology of Cephalotaxus. AoBBlog» abstract »
March 24, 2016
Published in Nature Climate Change (abstract»), Elizabeth Wolkovich and Ben Cook examined the phenology of wine grapes and its relationship to climate change. Using 500 years of harvest dates across France, they found that warming due to climate change is linked to much earlier harvest dates. Harvard Gazette» NPR»
March 2, 2016
The Harvard University Center for the Environment is offering summer research assistantships for Harvard Undergraduates. With positions open in both the Friedman Lab and Wolkovich Lab at the Arboretum, students would have the opportunity to study plant responses to climate change. Interested undergraduates should apply via HUCE.
December 15, 2015
The Australian bee, Amegilla murrayensis, has an unique technique to release pollen from flowers. Rather than shaking the anthers with its mandibles like the American bumblebee, it uses its head. Published in Arthropod-Plant Interactions, Callin Switzer and colleagues compared the pollination behavior of the two bees. abstract »
November 2, 2015
Giant pumpkins can grow to be more than 2000 pounds. Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow Jessica Savage was interviewed for the Smithsonian, NPR-WHYY and Botanist in the Kitchen Blog about her research on how pumpkins are able to grow so large from a plant physiological viewpoint.
September 23, 2015
"Plant Anatomy 2015: Development, function and evolution", the summer course sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum and microMORPH, was featured in the newsletter of the International Association of Wood Anatomists Journal. pdf »
July 20, 2015
Phloem plays a crucial role in carbon transport and allocation but little is known about how it impacts the interaction of plants with the environment. As lead author in a review article in Plant, Cell, and Environment, Jessica Savage, Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow, highlights current research and details the importance of phloem physiology in plant ecology. more » abstract »
May 1, 2015
Chase Mason was awarded an Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellowship. Chase received his PhD in 2015 from the University of Georgia. At the Arboretum, Chase will study the evolution of leaf physical and chemical defenses in relation to the leaf economics spectrum (LES), habit, and species’ source climate across 16 woody genera. LES relates the initial investment of carbon during leaf development with the net carbon gain of that leaf. Plants employ various LES strategies which impacts their adaptability to environmental conditions and stresses. Congratulations Chase!
April 29, 2015
Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow Jessica Savage has accepted a faculty position as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Jessica will be starting this position in the Fall of 2016. Congratulations Jessica!
April 19, 2015
The Arboretum is pleased to announce the 2015 Arboretum Award recipients. Graduate students supported by the awards include Steve Decina from Boston University (Deland Award) and Nalaka Geekiyanage from Kyoto University in Japan (Ashton Award). Jianhua Li, associate professor of biology at Hope College and Luke Keogh, post-doctoral fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Germany were awarded the Sargent Award. Congratulations!
February 24, 2015
Welwitschia was the subject of two articles by William (Ned) Friedman published in the American Journal of Botany. In one, Ned describes the development of the female reproductive structures and fertilization in Welwitchia. In the companion commentary, he discusses the evolving names of these structures throughout history. abstract » pdf »
December 1, 2014
David Des Marais and co-researchers dissected sequence variation between alleles of a regulatory protein in Arabidopsis and uncovered functional divergence in response to environmental conditions. The results are published in Molecular Biology and Evolution. more » abstract »
November 21, 2014
Published in Environmental Microbiology, William (Ned) Friedman, Peter Del Tredici and colleagues examined the diversity in the microbial community that is present in Ginkgo biloba trees. They found diverse populations of bacteria in different locations within the tree (i.e. bark, leaf, branch, trunk). abstract »
November 21, 2014
Juan Losada, William (Ned) Friedman, and colleagues examined the processes of floral receptivity in Magnolia virginiana. They found that there was a precise window of time, marked by specific secretory proteins, in which the stigma (female) was receptive to the pollen (male). This work was published in American Journal of Botany. abstract »
September 21, 2014
In work published in Nature and highlighted in News and Views, Dan Flynn and colleagues showed that the processes of evolution and ecology are intertwined. In experimental plots of mixed or monocultures, they found that evolutionary changes were community dependent. abstract »
September 15, 2014
Robin Hopkins and co-authors combined population genetics and field work to quantify the role of selection in reinforcement of reproductive isolation in the Texan wildflower, Phlox drummondii. Published in Current Biology, this study was the first to quantify this role in nature. more »abstract » Harvard Gazette »
September 15, 2014
In natural populations, there is variation in gene expression. David Des Marais and co-researchers examined if variation in response to abiotic stress was important for local adaptation to environmental conditions. The results are published in Molecular Biology and Evolution. more » abstract »
September 10, 2014
Jessica Savage, Arboretum Putnam Fellow, was awarded the Plant, Cell and Environment Postdoc Award for her talk at the Ecology Society of America (ESA) annual meeting. This award is to "to recognize significant advancements in physiological ecology." Congratulations Jessica!
September 10, 2014
Time is an important aspect of any system. In Ecology Letters, Elizabeth Wolkovich and colleagues propose that anthropogenic climate change should be considered in light of time as accelerated climate change. Thus, temporal ecology needs to be integrated with studies focusing on spacial ecology to provide predictive frameworks of changing ecological systems. more » abstract »
August 15, 2014
In a commentary for New Phytologist, Elizabeth Wolkovich and Ailene Ettinger discuss the increasing importance of plant phenology research in understanding global climate change. They also point out the untapped value of arboreta and botanic gardens as a rich resource for plant phenology research with tremendous biodiversity in a common environment. abstract »
March 19, 2014
The Arboretum is pleased to announce the 2014 Arboretum Award recipients. Several graduate students are being supported by these awards including Laura Garrison and Kristel Schoonderwoerd (Deland Award), Bryan Connolly ( Cunin/Sigal Award), Meng Li (Hu Award) and Janice Chan (Ashton Award). Ling Guo, curator at the Beijing Botanic Garden, was awarded the Jewett Prize. Andrew Groover, geneticist at the USDA Forest Service, is supported by the Sargent Award. Congratulations!
February 22, 2014
Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, David Des Marais and colleagues identified an interesting role of allelic variation in driving variation in water use efficiency. Comparing two natural genotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana, they found that a single amino acid substitution in the protein, MPK12,resulted in differing responses to environmental cues. abstract » alt »
February 10, 2014
Elizabeth Wolkovich was chosen as a runner-up for the New Phytologist Tansley Medal. This award honors scientists who have made outstanding contributions to their field within five years of receiving their Ph.D. Congratulations Lizzie! more » In an accompanying minireview, Lizzie and colleagues focused on recent interest in integrating independent studies in ecology, climate science and evolution to better predict plant phenology. abstract »
January 16, 2014
After 35 years at the Arboretum, senior research scientist Peter Del Tredici is retiring. Congratulations Peter! Fortunately for us, as a Senior Scientist Emeritus, Peter will still be an active Arboretum participant as he brings his students to the Arboretum and attends research talks. more »
January 15, 2014
In order for fertilization to occur, the pollen tube must maneuver through various maternal tissues as it travels from the stigma to the embryo sac. In the current issue of BMC Plant Biology, Juan Losada and María Herrero examined the characteristics of pollen tube growth and its interaction with maternal tissues in domesticated apple (Malus x domestica). abstract »
January 2, 2014
Robin Hopkins and Elizabeth Wolkovich joined the Arboretum as assistant professors in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. With a joint appointment at the Arboretum, their research programs will be based at Weld Hill. Welcome Robin and Lizzie! more »
September 23, 2013
William (Ned) Friedman introduces two natural mutants found in the Arboretum's living collection in Arnoldia. One, Cercis canadensis, accession 10-68-B, is an eastern redbud that has developed a spontaneous mutation in flower color on a single branch. Another natural mutation is observed in Kalmia latifolia, accession 2458. The petals of this flower have been converted to stamens complete with pollen production. Mutants in our midst pdf » Silva seeds pdf »
July 23, 2013
Featured on the cover of Annals of Applied Biology, Juan Losada and María Herrero examined multiple factors influencing flowering and fruit development in Malus (apples). Of the factors examined, they found that the programic phase (the time between pollination and fertilization) was the most important for final fruit set. abstract »
June 23, 2013
Stacey Leicht Young was awarded an Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellowship. Stacey will examine the ecological and reproductive strategies required for lianas (woody vines) to be successful in its environment utilizing the Arboretum’s Leventritt Shrub and Vine collection. more »
June 15, 2013
William (Ned) Friedman and Andrew Groover received funding from New Phytologist to host a symposium entitled “The Genomes of Trees – New Frontiers in Forest Biology”. The symposium will be hosted at the Arnold Arboretum in Spring 2015. Congratulations!
May 20, 2013
On the cover of American Journal of Botany, Sarah Mathews and coworkers shed light on the phylogeny of the Orobanchaceae. Many members of this plant family are either hemi- or holoparasitic, meaning that they rely on hosts for part or all of their lives. The phylogenetic results showed that there was single origin of parasitism. abstract »
May 10, 2013
In an effort to make existing phylogenetic information more accessible, Cam Webb participated in a hackathon. The group developed proof-of-concept software, phylotastic, that aims to allow users to build custom phylogenies based on the specific needs of the user. abstract »
May 3, 2013
In the American Journal of Botany, William (Ned) Friedman and Julien Bachelier clarified seed development in Trimenia, a member of an ancient lineage of flowering plants, the Austrobaileyales. Previously, it was believed that the embryo-nourishing tissues in Trimenia may include both a perisperm and an endosperm; however, this study revealed that the endosperm is the main nutrient-storing tissue. abstract »
April 20, 2013
Guangyou Hao, Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow, and colleagues describe new methods to measure water-related process, such as embolism formation and hydraulic vulnerability, directly in the trunks of large trees. Previously, these types of measurements were limited to small branches or leaves. abstract»
April 15, 2013
Published in Applications in Plant Sciences, Arboretum Putnam Fellow Cary Pirone and colleagues extracted and identified dozens of protein classes that are present in the pollination drops of eight different gymnosperm species. These results open up a new path to understanding the function of pollination drops. abstract »
March 18, 2013
February 15, 2013
Juan Losada and María Herrero examined the dynamics of the fertilization process in multiple flowers in the same inflorescence. Depending on the location within the inflorescence, there were differences in the timing and length of stigma receptivity, ensuring reproductive success in varying environmental conditions. Results are published in Scientia Horticulturae. abstract »
January 6, 2013
Angiosperms that are less than 30 meters in height have tremendous variation in leaf size, however, the size range for plants greater than 30 meters is much narrower. By modeling the physical constraints on carbohydrate transport, Maciej Zwieniecki and Kaare Jensen developed a theory to explain these differences. The work is published in Physical Review Letters and featured in Science Now and APS. abstract »
December 26, 2012
Barcoding plant species has enormous potential to help identify known species in forest plots and new species found in the wild. Cam Webb and colleagues published a detailed protocol in Methods in Molecular Biology detailing how to utilize barcoding for ecology and systematics.
December 5, 2012
In new work published in New Phytologist, Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow Guangyou Hao and colleagues compared the hydraulics of diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid Atriplex canescens. They found that increased ploidy levels (extra sets of chromosomes) was associated with greater resistance to drought-induced hydraulic failure. abstract »
December 1, 2012
Cam Webb and colleagues analyzed widely available data and found host preferences, numbers, and ranges of plant pests and pathogens can be correlated with phylogenetics to assess the risk of specific plant species being susceptible to particular pests. The research is published in Evolutionary Applications. abstract »
October 26, 2012
A cover story in New Phytologist presents research by recent visiting scientist Rob Baker, Lena Hilman, and Pam Diggle focusing on the evolution of shoot architecture. Using two populations of Mimulus guttatus, they examined the molecular developmental pathways within and among populations, where genetic divergence, adaptation, and speciation occur. abstract »
October 15, 2012
Sarah Mathews, Chuck Davis, and colleagues published a new phylogeny of the Malpighiales. With an additional 12 clades, the resolution of the phylogeny was greatly increased. The results are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. abstract »
October 1, 2012
As seedlings, some species of Ficus grow on other plants high in the canopy (an hemiepiphytic growth habit). Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellow Guangyou Hao and colleagues tested the hypothesis that hemiepiphytic growth is an adaptation for shade avoidance, but determined that it is instead a method to avoid risks associated with terrestrial growth while they are small. Results are published in Physiologia Plantarum. abstract »
September 26, 2012
Beginning a new phase of his career, Maciej Zwieniecki accepted a faculty appointment at the University of California, Davis. Congratulations Maciej!
September 15, 2012
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sarah Mathews and coworkers explored the phylogenetic relationships of conifers by including the fossil record. They found strong evidence that Northern Hemisphere lineages had higher rates of speciation and extinction compared to those in the Southern Hemisphere. abstract »
July 24, 2012
A new study by William (Ned) Friedman, Peter del Tredici, and colleagues from the University of Colorado was featured in the Harvard Gazette. With help from arborist John Del Rosso, the study involved sampling Arboretum ginkgos from top to bottom in the first-ever effort to define the entire community of microbes of a tree. Harvard Gazette»
July 20, 2012
Francesca Secchi and Maciej Zwieniecki developed a new approach to compare liquid collected from functional vessels or non-functional vessels in poplar trees (Populus nigra). This approach, published in Plant Physiology, provides new insights into the biology of recovery from drought stress. abstract »
June 20, 2012
Published in the American Journal of Botany, co-authors William (Ned) Friedman, Julien Bachelier, and Iñaki Hormaza followed the developing embryo from fertilization to seed dormancy in Trithuria submersa, a tiny aquatic plant belonging to the ancient angiosperm lineage Nymplaeales. abstract »
June 6, 2012
Julien Bachelier and colleagues closely examined inflorescence and flower development in members of the Ranunculaceae (Ranunculus, Ceratocephala, Halerpestes, and Oxygraphis). The results are published in the journal Plant Systematics and Evolution. abstract »
April 27, 2012
A graduate student in the Friedman and Diggle Labs at the University of Colorado, Chi-Chiu Wu passed his PhD defense. His research focused on female gametophyte development and double fertilization in Balsas teosinte, a wild relative of domesticated corn, and the effect of genetic relatedness of an endosperm on maize seed development. Congratulations Chi-Chiu!
March 15, 2012
To support their research utilizing the Arboretum’s collections of living plants, herbarium specimens, and extensive library and archival resources, research awards were bestowed on Dr. Jorge Lora and Dr. Bharti Sharma (Jewett Prize), graduate student Laura Lagomarsino (Deland Award for Student Research) and Dr. Hugh McAllister and Dr. Claire Williams (Sargent Award). more »
March 15, 2012
Using both phylogenetic and functional traits, Stuart Davies and colleagues compared turnover in the composition of two different ecosystems (disturbed vs. undisturbed). The work published in Ecology concluded that including functional data aids in predicting future compositional changes. abstract»
January 27, 2012
Recent visiting scientist and Deland Award Recipient Juan Losada passed his PhD defense from the Aula Dei Experimental Station–CSIC, Spain. His graduate research focused on the events between pollination and fertilization, primarily the role of arabinogalactan proteins in pollen-pistil interactions in Malus and other genera in the Arboretum's living collection. Congratulations Juan!
January 20, 2012
Recent visiting scientist Rob Baker passed his PhD defense. As a graduate student in the Diggle Lab at the University of Colorado, he focused on the evolution of shoot architecture by examining the molecular developmental pathways within and among populations, where genetic divergence, adaptation, and speciation occur. Congratulations Rob!
January 15, 2012
A paper on the age of Arabidopsis thaliana by Mark Beilstein, Sarah Mathews, and colleagues was highlighted at ScienceWatch.com as a "New Hot Paper" in the area of plant and animal science. This means that the paper, published in October 2010, was one of the most-cited papers in this area in the last two years. abstract »
December 27, 2011
Arboretum Visiting Fellow Rob Baker and Pam Diggle published new work in the American Journal of Botany examining the differences in shoot architecture between two populations of Mimulus guttatus. One population has a highly branched perennial lifestyle, while plants from the other population are less branched and annual. They found that shifts in the timing of reproduction play a role in the different patterns of branching. abstract »
December 15, 2011
The transportation of water through xylem cells can occasionally be blocked by air bubbles in a process called embolism. In new work published in Plant Physiology, Francesca Secchi and Maciej Zwieniecki shed light on the mechanisms involved in embolism repair by examining global transcription profiles in poplar trees (Populus trichocarpa). abstract »
August 27, 2011
Maciej Zwieniecki is co-organizing a workshop entitled "Physics and Physiology of Phloem Transport" that will bring together physicists and biologists to tackle issues in this important phenomenon. The workshop will take place October 10-12 in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Niels Bohr International Academy in collaboration with the Center for Fluid Dynamics at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
July 5, 2011
Maciej Zwieniecki was named a Specialty Chief Editor for the online open access journal Frontiers in Plant Biophysics and Modeling. In an accompanying article, he and co-author Jacques Dumais review progress and challenges in plant biophysics. abstract »
July 1, 2011
The distribution of plant species in the Sundalan shows marked differences between the western (Malay Peninsula and Sumatra) and eastern (Borneo) areas. Cam Webb and associates analyzed 111 tree inventories and found evidence that exposed sea-beds formed a barrier to species dispersal between the two regions. The work is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. abstract »
June 25, 2011
To support their research in the living collection, students Juan Losada (Aula Dei Experimental Station–CSIC, Spain), Mariana Oliveira e Castro (University of Coimbra, Portugal), and Preeti Rao (Boston University) were granted Deland Awards for Student Research. more »
June 20, 2011
In an article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Julien Bachelier and William (Ned) Friedman show that in Trimenia moorei, an ancient linage of woody vines, the females, not the males, compete for reproduction. The article was recommended by the Faculty of 1000. Harvard Gazette» abstract»
June 15, 2011
Borneo is a biodiversity hotspot with the highest rate of forest clearance and degradation in the world. With opportunities to prevent extinctions dwindling, Cam Webb and colleagues proposed a policy framework for forest restoration, published in Conservation Letters. abstract »
June 14, 2011
Elena Kramer, currently on sabbatical at Weld Hill, received a NSF grant to use the new model system Aquilegia (columbine) to investigate the evolution and function of floral novelties. As outreach for the grant, Elena will utilize the plant’s recently sequenced genome to lead a module for the Crimson Summer Academy, a Harvard summer program for high school students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. Congratulations Elena!
June 10, 2011
An article by Maciej Zwieniecki and colleagues published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface details a novel biomimicking technique to model phloem translocation. This paper was selected as a Faculty of 1000 "Must Read" paper in plant biology. abstract »
February 19, 2011
William (Ned) Friedman was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science(AAAS). Congratulations Ned! more »
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