image of Rachel Paseka
Photo: dna
Brooke Maslo and her student banding a little brown bat at a maternity colony in Sparta, NJ.
image of Natalie Howe and Alexis Kleinbeck studying pokeweed, Phytolacca americana, during the Plant Systematics graduate class
Photo: cassava
Photo: halictus bee
Photo: field course
Photo: sampling under water
Photo: trees
Photo: banding
Photo: class in Rutgers Gardens

How pathogens made organelles

Photo: Debashish BhattacharyaEver wonder how the two most important energy producing machines on our planet, the organelles mitochondrion and plastid got their start? DEENR faculty member Debashish Bhattacharya and his colleagues Steven Ball and Andreas Weber propose in their new Perspectives piece in Science magazine that the endosymbioses that led to their formation were made possible by the role of pathogens. Read More

Willard Mbewe wins 3rd place poster award

Photo: old system of organization

Award winner Willard Mbewe and presenting the award is Claude Fauquet

Willard Mbewe, a PhD research scholar from the Makere University in Uganda visiting Siobain Duffy's lab won a 3rd prize award for the best poster during The First World Congress on Root and Tuber Crops in Nanning, China, in January 2016. The conference was held to discuss the significance of roots and tubers, emphasizing cassava as a means to reduce poverty and increase food security for poor farmers and growing populations in developing countries. The award-winning poster was titled Variability in P1 gene redefines phylogenetic relationships among Cassava brown streak viruses (Ipomovirus; Potyviradae). Willard's research indicates there could be a third species of Cassava brown streak virus. The species is not yet named, though the collaborators are calling it Cassava brown streak Tanzania virus.

How to reorganize 140,000 flowering plant specimens

Photo: old system of organization

The old organization in the herbarium needs to be updated; here are three aquatic plant families that have gotten new family numbers as a result of phylogenetic DNA analysis of plants worldwide.
Photo by Lena Struwe.

Photo: herbarium cases

Rutgers' invaluable scientific plant collections are stored in special herbarium cases in the Chrysler Herbarium.
Photo by Fiona Zheng.

The Chrysler Herbarium here at Rutgers University contains over 200 000 specimens of plants, algae and fungi, and is the only remaining major herbarium in the State of New Jersey. Last week a group of a dozen eager undergraduate students, our own 'herbarium army', started the reorganization of the part of the herbarium containing the flowering plants from the old 1980s system into the modern DNA-based family classification. Photo: students working in the Chrysler Herbarium In the old system, related plants were not always kept in close proximity to each other within the collection. The whole reorganization is expected to take about 2 months. Afterwards, all folders, family labels, and tags will be updated to prepare for the digitization of the collection in conjunction with a nationwide digitization program. You can follow the students' progress and many botanical discoveries on the new Chrysler Herbarium Facebook page, which is managed by Herbarium Director Lena Struwe, a professor in our department. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Dr. Struwe directly ().