The School of Plant Sciences is a vigorous, cutting-edge, and comprehensive academic unit of the University of Arizona, whose scientists are devoted to the study of plants, the organisms that underpin the survival of terrestrial life. Research programs within the School examine how plants grow, how they respond to their environment, how they evolved, how they can be manipulated, and their fungal, bacterial, and viral interactions. more...

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Ricardo Hernández, a postdoctoral scholar at the School of Plant Sciences, was selected as one of the three winners of the 2014 ASHS Young Faculty and Professional Leadership Symposium. The American Society for Horticultural Science provides this award for outstanding postdocs, early career faculty and industry professionals based on the impact of their research, teaching, extension and other scholarly activities. Ricardo’s research is on horticultural LED lighting with focus on the spectral requirements, plant responses and energy use efficiency for vegetable transplants. 

The School of Plant Sciences promoted its two majors to undecided students at the UA Meet Your Major Fair 2014. More than 30 students stopped by to learn about our majors. Thanks to the Life Sciences Students Association (the undergraduate student club of our school) for helping us out with the event and giving out free plants to those who stopped by our booth. Thanks also to the Undergraduate Student Recruitment Committee Faculty who made this event possible: Ravi Palanivelu, Tanya Quist, Mohammad Pessarakli, and Monica Schmidt.

Dr. Rod Wing and his colleagues decoded and published the genome of African rice (Oryza glaberrima) in Nature Genetics on July 27, 2014. African rice was domesticated in West Africa ~3000 years ago, independently of Asian rice that was domesticated 7,000 years earlier. African rice offers a new set of genes that can be used to improve Asian rice as the world braces itself for more than 2 billion new human inhabitants by 2050. Read the full story at UA News.

Dr. Mohammad Pessarakli was featured on the Monthly Spotlight by the University of Arizona Appointed Professionals Advisory Council (APAC). Mohammad has been with the School of Plant Sciences for more than 30 years, teaching and working on the impact of drought and salinity stress on plants and turf grasses. Visit the APAC web site to read the featured story on Dr. Pessarakli.

The University of Arizona Campus Arboretum was recently highlighted in a segment of AZ Illustrated Nature broadcast by the Arizona Public Media. The Campus Arboretum, directed by Dr. Tanya Quist, has nearly 9,000 woody plants and cacti, representing more than 550 species from six continents. The video and the accompanied story can be found on AZPM.