University of California, Berkeley   |  College of Natural Resources 

A Newsletter for Faculty, Students, Staff and Friends of the Department

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Issue No. 9  

October 2012
In This Issue ...
Fungus expert John Taylor celebrates rare 10,000th citation
Visiting Professor from Mexico
Cal Undergrad's $5,000 Award
Fungi Workshop on Youtube
Job Listings
Email Changes on Campus
Community Sequencing Program
New Safety Videos for Labs
Lemaux Education Grant

 Quick Links 





Videos at PMB

Our new Facebook Page 


Fungus expert celebrates rare 10,000th citation  
The four co-authors of the 1990 paper, left to right, Thomas D. Bruns, Thomas J. White, Steven B. Lee and John W. Taylor.
Photo credit: James Block.
A scientific publication from John Taylor's lab hit a rare benchmark this month when it was cited for the 10,000th time, according to Google Scholar. The publication, a chapter called "Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics," appeared in the 1990 book "PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications."

Most scientific papers are cited just a few times, but seldom 100 times, and rarely a few thousand. The papers that earned Nobel prizes for UC Berkeley physicists Saul Perlmutter and George Smoot, for example, have been cited 8,882 and 2,260 times, respectively, according to Google Scholar.  



Visiting Professor from Mexico


Elena R. Alvarez-Buylla, Professor and Head of the Plant Molecular
Dra. Elena Alvarez-Buylla
Elena Alvarez-Buyyla
Genetics, Development and Evolution Laboratory at Institute of Ecology, National Autonomous University of Mexico-- is working in the department as a
Miller Professor
Alvarez-Buylla is interested in both the peculiar aspects and evolution of plant developmental mechanisms and form, as well as in using plants as experimental systems to test generic aspects underlying development of all multi-cellular organisms. She combines experimental molecular genetic, theoretical and evolutionary approaches to understanding development with a comparative perspective.  
During her time at Cal, Alvarez-Buylla will focus on further developing our theoretical contributions to the general understanding of complex gene regulatory networks (GRN) and how they restrain development and evolution. 

To learn more about the Miller Institute, visit their site at


Cal Undergrad Awarded $5,000 Prize     
ANR logo


Anna Calamonaci--UC Berkeley graduating senior--was recently honored with the Howard Walton Clark Prize in Plant Breeding and Soil Building. In addition to being honored, the award comes with a $5,000 prize. Congratulations Anna!  


To learn more about Anna and the Howard Walton Clark Prize in Plant Breeding and Soil Building, read the full length article at


North American Mycoflora Project on Youtube


Professor Tom Bruns presided over the first meeting of the North American Mycoflora Project in July, and the entire workshop is on Youtube for your viewing pleasure. The Project is a grass roots effort to develop a catalog that identifies all North American fungi.

Check it out on youtube: Tom Bruns Mycoflora Videos 


Job Listings | Grant Opportunities


Lewis & Clark College is seeking a full-time faculty 
members for an open tenure-track position in biology. Located in Portland, OR, Lewis & Clark College is a small private liberal arts college with approximately 1,900 undergraduates.
In addition, microMORPH is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for undergraduates ($5,000), graduates students, postdoctorals, and assistant professors ($3,500) in plant development or plant evolution.  These grants are available to support cross-disciplinary visits between labs or institutions for a period of a few weeks to an entire semester.  
Additionally, summer internships are being offered by the Department of Energy at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Sequim, Washington. The stipend is $500 per week and applicants must be a junior, senior or recent grad.
To learn more about the positions and grants, visit


bConnected - Big Changes to Calendars, Email

New email utilizing Google will begin for all Cal students, faculty and staff in November and December. The new email system will be complemented by a new calendar system also powered by Google. 

For more information about the new mail and calendar applications, along with additional information about Google Apps for Education, please visit

If you have specific questions please feel free to contact. Karyn Houston  in Koshland 111.


New and Improved Research Hub Ready for the Academic Year   
Research Hub,, is ready for the fall semester with new features, training workshops, and a pilot program to help scholars archive and share their research data. Drag 'n' drop uploads, audio/video playback, Photoshop previews, and email integration are just few of the improvements that make Research Hub more powerful and easier to use.

And the Hub still comes with 10 GB of storage - free!

Find out more at


Glass Lab Community Sequencing Program 


  The N. Louise Glass Lab and collaborators were awarded a Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute Community Sequencing Proposal (CSP) entitled the Fungal Nutritional ENCODE Project to address three critical areas of research at the Joint Genome Institute:


*                Fungal bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass

*                Microbial contribution to carbon cycling

*                Annotation of fungal genomes sequenced by the JGI


Prof. Glass is heading a large consortium of researchers that focus primarily on the model filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa and also industrially important filamentous fungi.  The research group has co

N.L. Glass
N. Louise Glass

nsiderable expertise in RNA biology, transcriptional profiling, histone modifications, chromatin biology, gene regulation and computational analyses of datasets generated via systems biology approaches.


The efforts will result in the first nutritional regulatory map for a filamentous fungus and will identify new regulatory factors and regulons associated with biomass and nutritional resource utilization. These data will be essential for targeted construction of modified strains for industrial objectives for the economic production of biofuels.


For more information visit the

Glass Lab web site.



New Videos Promote Cal; Lab Safety  
Have you seen the awesome new videos UC Berkeley has recently released? Both videos--This is Bear Territory and Welcome to Berkeley can be found on our site in the Student Life section, or under the "About Us" tab on our homepage
Cal's office of Environment, Health & Safety has also released new videos demonstrating proper safety procedures for all faculty, student, and staff at the university. Visit their Youtube channel at for viewing. These videos can also be found on our website under PMB Services on the Hazardous Waste and Emergency Procedures pages.


Lemaux Grant Will Help Blind Students Learn Plant Biology

The Lemaux Lab just got a grant to create a Plant Biology education curriculum for sight-limited middle school students. They will be working with a colleague from Mexico on the American Society of Plant Biologists grant.
"Learning Plant Biology -- It's All in the Touch!" will help learners develop better mental images of scientific phenomena, like the internal structure of a plant cell.
Read more about the project at pmb.berkeley/edu/news/lemaux-lab-grant


Etcetera ... Important News and Tidbits of Information! 


The deadline to apply for the department of Plant & Microbial Biology Graduate Program for Fall 2013 admission is Dec. 2, 2012. For more information please visit: 


SAVE THE DATE - Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 - for the PMB Holiday Party, 4-8 pm, Alumni House, UC Berkeley Campus. More information to come.


Other important dates: Grad Student Interview Weekend 1-24 through 1-27-13 (faculty interviews on 1-25-13); PMB Spring Party 5-3-13; PMB Retreat 9-13-13. 


Tsujimoto Lecture Featuring Joseph Thornton of the University of Oregon - Wednesday, 11/7/12, Noon to 1 pm, 101 Barker Hall. Title: "The Functional Synthesis in Molecular Biology and Evolution: Mechanisms for the Evolution of Hormone Receptor Structure and Function". The Tsujimoto Lecture is hosted by PMB Postdocs.

For information on this and other seminars please visit


111 Koshland Hall    I    Berkeley, California 94720    I    510.642.9999      I  


The PMB newsletter is produced by the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley.

Professor Robert Fischer, Department Chair

N. Louise Glass, Associate Chair

Dana Jantz, Chief Operating Officer 

Karyn Houston, Communications / Webmaster / Newsletter Editor