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. 14   

May 13, 2013
In This Issue ...
Genetics, Development and Evolution Symposium
Call for Research Proposals
Mary Wildermuth Profiled
Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp for Undergraduates
More Media for Tobacco Project
QB3 Symposium
QB3 Symposium
Finishing Talks and more ...

 Quick Links 



Videos at PMB

PMB on Facebook


Don't miss the Genetics, Development and Evolution Symposium from 9 am - 4:30 pm on Wednesday, May 29.  Postdocs and grad students are particularly invited to present their research, either as a talk or during the poster session.


 The goal is to showcase research in genetic mechanisms of development and/or evolution, and to foster interactions among different research groups and departments.  Lunch, refreshments and prizes for the best talk and best poster.


Visit for registration information. Abstract submissions are due Friday, May 17.  


Energy Biosciences Institute Calls for New Research Proposals 
The Energy Biosciences Institute has issued a call for new research proposals for funding available for the period 2014-16. Three-page pre-proposals are due from faculty no later than May 31, 2013. 
Eligibility: Faculty must have primary appointments at one of the partner EBI institutions - UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  
The Institute has ongoing interest in novel areas of research relating to bioenergy - feedstock development, biomass depolymerization, biofuels production, fossil fuel bioprocessing, and the environmental, social and economic impacts of a biofuel industry.


Mary Wildermuth Profiled in International Innovation 


 Associate Professor Mary Wildermuth was recently profiled in International Innovation (Disseminating science, research and technology).
The article focuses on pest control, and discusses her research approach approach and interests, fascination with the intertwined nature of host-microbe interactions and what they reveal about shared biological control points and host biology.
Download the full article (PDF) or stop by 111 Koshland Hall to read the magazine. 
Download the PDF here: International Innovation
Read more about the Wildermuth Lab Research


Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp for Undergraduates

QB3 is now accepting applications for a five-day Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp for undergraduates participating in summer research projects. The course is a molecular biology experimental primer, covering the basics of microbiology and molecular biology, research methods, safety and human practices, experimental design, and demonstrations of basic techniques likely to be encountered in a molecular biology lab. The course will be offered for two sessions, May 20-24 and June 17-21, 2013 in the Stanley Hall instructional lab.

It is taught by UC Berkeley graduate students and postdocs. There is no charge or credit offered for the course, but participants who successfully complete the course receive a certificate of completion.
The bootcamp is open to both Berkeley and non-Berkeley students. Students must be available for a full five-day session − late starts and early finishes cannot be accommodated.


Tobacco Project Continues to get Media Exposure 
Professor Lemaux discusses tobacco.
Researchers who are looking for ways to modify tobacco to produce biofuels are continuing to get media interest, including a University of California "Green" blog and the Los Angeles Times.
Peggy Lemaux, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, and Anastasios Melis and Krishna Niyogi, professors in PMB, are the lead researchers in the project.
The research consortium also includes Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Kentucky. 
The research group is taking genes, primarily from algae, that produce oil and inserting them into tobacco plants to make oils in leaves. The research is funded with a three-year $4.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Read more about it at: - UC Green Blog, which profiles work in natural resources, pest management, climate change and sustainable agriculture and the Los Angeles Times.  

See a video about the project on our website at


Lemaux Lab Featured in KQED Documentary


The Lemaux was included in a recently public television documentary. "Next Meal: Engineering Food," investigates genetically engineered crops and explores how they are made, their pros and cons, and what the future holds for research and regulations. Cooperative Extension Specialist Peggy Lemaux and members of her lab are featured.


View the video and more about the show at


Re-writing Genomes: A New Era in Genome Editing and Engineering


A one-day symposium hosted by QB3-Berkeley

245 Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences

University of California, Berkeley

SAVE THE DATE -- August, 26, 2013


Leading experts in genomics and molecular biology will explore how an integrated view of genome-editing technologies promises to transform basic research as well as biomedical engineering. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited.


Click here to add your name to an event mailing list - we'll send you a message when registration opens.



Dirk Hockemeyer, MCB, UC Berkeley
Dirk Hockemeyer, MCB, UC Berkeley
Jennifer Doudna, MCB, UC Berkeley

Jennifer Doudna, MCB, UC Berkeley

Dirk Hockemeyer, MCB, UC Berkeley


Confirmed speakers:

Dana Carroll, University of Utah

David Drubin, UC Berkeley

Dirk Hockemeyer, UC Berkeley

Maria Jasin, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Martin Jinek, University of Zurich

Keith Joung, Massachusetts General Hospital

Barbara Meyer, UC Berkeley

Fyodor Urnov, Sangamo

Dan Voytas, University of Minnesota

Feng Zhang, Broad Institute, MIT


Et cetera ... Important News and Tidbits of Information
The Spring 2013 issue of Breakthroughs is now available
College of Natural Resources Magazine includes features on climate change, research in obesity, endowing cells with a magnetic personality, and much more. Check it out at Breakthroughs Magazine.

Important dates:



Mon. 5/13 - Fri. 5/17 - Finals Week
Sun. 5/19 - CNR Commencement
Mon. 5/27 - Memorial Day Holiday
Thur. 5/30 - PMB Faculty Meeting 

Aug. 26-28  - Incoming Grad Students Orientation
Fri. 9/13, 2013 - PMB Retreat, Clark Kerr
Fri. 12/6, 2013 - PMB Holiday Party, Alumni House
Fri. 1/30 - 2/2 - PMB Graduate Program Recruitment Weekend (candidate interviews 1/31)
Fri. 5/2, 2014 - PMB Spring Social, Alumni House

9/5 - 9/7, 2014 - PMB Retreat, Asilomar 




Finishing Talks


1. Nicholas Justice -- Friday, 5/17/13, 338 Koshland Hall, 4 pm


TITLE: "Unraveling the Ecological Knot: Analyzing Microbial Physiology and Community Interactions Using Mass-spectrometry Based Methods and Stable Isotope Probing"


2. Juliana Cho (Lindow Lab) -- 5/20/13, 338 Koshland Hall, Noon to 1 pm


TITLE: "The Contributions of Motility to the Behavior of Pseudomonas syringae: Phenotypes and Genetics"



Read all the details at  

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.

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Rocio Sanchez, Graduate Program

Trey Patridge, Undergraduate Majors