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Xin Li article Preventing autoimmunity in plants

Article by Xin Li lab

Like animals, plants are constantly exposed to bacteria, viruses, and fungi that have the potential to cause diseases. To remain healthy plants possess a complex immune system which relies on immune receptors that are able to recognize pathogens and respond before an infection is established. If a pathogen is able…

Fig1_GaryOak Are Canada’s Species At Risk recovering?

Article by Bill Harrower, Jenny McCune, and Jeannette Whitton

National level endangered species laws are designed to prevent species from going extinct. Canada's endangered species law, the Species At Risk Act (or SARA), was enacted almost 13 years ago1. Associate Professor Jeannette Whitton led a group of 14 students and researchers…

Poplar The 'Engineering' Behind Hybrid Trees

Figure 1. Five years old Populus trichocarpa trees at Totem Field collection, UBC.

Article by Adriana Suarez-Gonzalez (Douglas lab)

If you are reading this article, then you survived your birth, acclimated to rainy and cold weather and have successfully battled a number of flu viruses. The same happens in trees, but because plants…

Bayly Mapping a species niche and its distribution

Article by Matthew Bayly (Angert Lab).

A current important area of research effort involves understanding how species’ geographic distributions and range limits will respond to climate change. But for most species of interest we lack basic data on how their fitness changes along climatic gradients. In many cases distribution data from…

Douglas Poplar Update on plant sex: breakthrough discovery in poplars

Article by Carl Douglas

Do plants have different sexes, meaning distinct male and female individual organisms within a species? The separation of male and female sexual function into different individuals is called “dioecy” and is common in eukaryotes, occurring in 94% of animals. Yes - this occurs in plants but in contrast to animals it…

Haslam How do plants make exceptionally long lipids for their cuticles?

Article by Tegan Haslam (Kunst Lab)

The transition of plants to life on land required many adaptations for survival in an environment so radically different from the sea. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of terrestrial life is the necessity of retaining water, which makes up more than 70% of most non-woody plant parts. Plants have…

Hind Seaweed Diversity on Calvert Island, British Columbia

Article by Katy Hind, Sandra Lindstrom, and Patrick Martone

It is estimated that we have described only 10-20% of species diversity on Earth.  In particular, floristic surveys using modern molecular techniques have revealed that we are vastly underestimating the number of seaweed species.  This finding has implications for researchers…

Samuel pic Biomechanical consequences of branching in flexible, wave-swept macroalgae

Article by Samuel Starko and Patrick Martone

What physical factors influence the morphological variation of plants? How do different morphologies coexist, if they perform similar ecological roles? Marine, non-vascular plants (seaweeds) live in some of the most physically stressful habitats on the planet: wave-swept rocky shores. Seaweeds…

Haughn article Exploring cell wall structure and function with seed coat mucilage

Article by George Haughn

The primary plant cell wall of land plants is an essential cellular structure needed for support, cell-cell adhesion, signaling and interaction with both the biotic and abiotic environment. It is composed of a complex, dynamic extracellular matrix consisting of a network of carbohydrate polymers (cellulose,…

Curtis Suttle Viruses have helped to sculpture life and the world we live on

By 2019 Wall Scholar Curtis Suttle, a Professor and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada at the University of British Columbia, where he shares an office with billions of viruses.

The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is just the latest in what seems to be a never-ending war against the spread of viral diseases; Measles, Influenza, HIV,…