College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

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December 14, 2003

This week (12-8-03 to 12-12-03) at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco

College of Natural Resources scientists are presenting 19 papers and posters on topics including the benefit of exercise on the reduction of oil consumption, the emission of terpenes from forest thinning, the diversity of organisms in acid mine drainage, and the influence of plant and microbial interactions on nitrogen retention in Puerto Rican forest soils.

This month (December) in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

CNR researchers discovered that while Pierce's disease of grapevines (PD) and almond leaf scorch (ALS) are caused by the same species of bacteria, the bacteria are two distinctly different strains. Pierce's disease, where bacteria cause blockage in the roots denying water and nutrients to the grapevine canes and leaves, and ALS, which also results from congestion in the water flow, are both believed to be caused by the organism, Xylella fastidiosa. In the study, X. fastidiosa isolates from grapes and almonds, previously thought to be identical, were tested to see if almond strains could cause PD in grapevines and vice versa. The researchers determined that the organisms are not biologically interchangeable. Another CNR research team in the same issue reported a genetically modified green fluorescent protein to better understand the pattern of host colonization and its relationship to disease.

Paul Ludden named AAAS Fellow

Paul Ludden, dean and professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, was named a 2003 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for research elucidating regulation of nitrogenase activity, biosynthesis of the iron-molybdenum cofactor of nitrogenase, and mechanisms of carbon monoxide metabolism in microorganisms.

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