In the News
- Fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations within the CLSF have yielded two papers in the October 4, 2016 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The Gu, Kim and Cosgrove groups (all at Penn State University) show that cellulose synthase complexes behave differently during primary and secondary cell wall synthesis and form microfibrils with different organization (Li et al. 2016 PNAS 113(40):11348-53). The Zimmer group at University of Virginia and Nixon and Kumar groups at Penn State together demonstrate that a single recombinantly expressed and purified cellulose synthase isoform is sufficient for cellulose biosynthesis and produces cellulose microfibrils (Purushotham et al. 2016 PNAS 113(40):11360-65).
- CLSF Researchers featured on the covers of four journals December 2015 - February 2016! See our Research page for more information.
- Journal of Experimental Botany's Special Issue: "From the Nucleus to the Apoplast: Building the Plant's Cell Wall" (January 2016) features three review articles from our research groups. Daniel Cosgrove reviews the differences between elastic modulus and wall extensibility in the context of cell growth, Charles Anderson addresses progress on pectin synthesis and dynamics research, and Tuo Wang and Mei Hong present how solid-state NMR investigations are contributing to our understanding of spactial arrangements of macromolecules in plant cell walls.
- The CLSF sent ten representatives to attend the EFRC PI meeting in Washington, D.C. October 26-27, 2015. Congratulations to Venu Gopal Vendavasi (O'Neill, ORNL) who was selected as a Postdoctoral Researcher Finalist presenter. Daniel Cosgrove (PSU), Candace Haigler (NCSU), Jochen Zimmer (UVA) and Chris Lee (Kim, PSU) will be giving talks. Tuo Wang (Hong, MIT), Loukas Petridis (O'Neill, ORNL), Sarah Kiemle (Cosgrove, PSU), Tian Zhang (Cosgrove, PSU) and Hui Yang (Kubicki, PSU) presented their research on posters. Sarah Kiemle organizing the Student and Postdoctoral Researcher trivia night.
- Poetry of Science Contest Winner: "Afterlife of a photon" The 32 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) were challenged to convey the wonder of science using poetry inspired by a scientific image. Sixteen teams took up the challenge, and a rich variety of images and poems that evoked the complexities, splendor, and awe of energy science. The Office of Science chose the CLSF's submission "Afterlife of a photon" as the first place winner. "Afterlife of a photon" describes a photon's perspective of its birth, travel and current bondage in a celluose molecule of wood. Congratulations to Jochen Zimmer (UVA), Daniel Cosgrove (PSU) and Sarah Kiemle (Cosgrove, PSU) who write the poem and designed the image. Listen to a reading of the poem "Afterlife of a Photon" (September 30, 2015)
- Tear down that WALL: The key to efficient biofuels may lie in learning how plants build their cell wall; a very approachable Penn State Research article highlights the research of several CLSF researchers at Penn State. (May 2015)
- The Department of Energy recommends the Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation (CLSF) for an additional 4 years of funding.
The Department of Energy recently announced the awarding of $100 million for Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) meant to accelerate scientific breakthroughs needed to build a 21st-century energy economy. The 32 projects receiving funding were competitively selected from more than 200 proposals. The CLSF, one of 22 EFRCs selected for the second round of funding, received renewed funding based both on our achievements to date and the quality of our proposal for future research. Together the renewed EFRCs will help lay the scientific groundwork for fundamental advances in solar energy, electrical energy storage, carbon capture and sequestration, materials and chemistry by design, biosciences, and extreme environments.
(July 18, 2014)
- Ten Hundred and One Word Challenge Winner: Powering your car with sun light
The Ten Hundred and One Word Challenge invited the 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to represent their science in images and words, but any descriptions or words could only use the 1000 most commonly used words in the English language, with the addition of one word important to each of the EFRCs and the mission of DOE: energy. Thirty-one teams took up the challenge, and submitted a diverse array of highly creative and visually captivating entries that told the story of the innovative, ground-breaking science performed in the EFRCs. The Office of Science chose the our CLSF's submission "Powering your car with sun light" as the overall winner
View CLSF Winning Entry - small version | large version (July 18, 2013)
- Plant protein shape puzzle solved by molecular 3-D model - In a groundbreaking paper researchers provide the first three-dimensional model of plant cellulose synthase, an enzyme that links a simple sugar, glucose, into long-chain cellulose, the basic building block within plant cell walls that gives plants structure.
- Groundbreaking study: Crops may one day be more useful for biofuels and biomaterials - Research has uncovered the a model of an enzyme responsible for cellulose production in plants, providing a roadmap to look at how to make intelligent changes to the cellulose synthase enzyme which may lead to manipulation of cellulose properties in plants.
- Watch our video "Liquid Sunshine to Fuel Your Car". This is our short, non-technical video about how wood is really stored solar energy and could be used as a biofuel.
- Breaking Down the Wall to Cellulose - if we understand how cellulose and plant cell walls are made, we can manipulate them for human benefit. This article in the NC State Results magazine highlights the research of Candace Haigler and the other members of the CLSF at North Carolina State University.
- Symposium on Cellulose held May 16-18, 2013
The symposium "Cellulose synthesis, structure, matrix interactions and technology" was held at the University Park campus of Pennsylvania State University from May 16-18, 2013. This is an international symposium on the structure of cellulose in primary and secondary cell walls, the mechanism of its synthesis and its interactions with matrix polymers, and new uses of cellulose for energy and material applications. The mix of speakers was unique – we sought to bring together experts in several cellulose-related fields that traditionally do not meet together, to connect people and ideas in new ways to further research on this important topic. This symposium was the 19th in a series of Plant Biology Symposiums at Penn State that started in the 1980's and was sponsored by the Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation, headquartered at Penn State.