Berkeley Lab

Gut microbiota mediate caffeine detoxification in the primary insect pest of coffee

The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is the most devastating insect pest of coffee worldwide with its infestations decreasing crop yield by up to 80%. Caffeine is an alkaloid that can be toxic to insects and is hypothesized to act as a defence mechanism to inhibit herbivory. Here we show that caffeine is degraded in […]

Noninvasive Mapping of Photosynthetic Heterogeneity in Biological Soil Crusts by Positron Emission Tomography: Carbon Fixation

Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are critical contributors to the biogeochemistry of ecosystems in arid and semi-arid regions worldwide. Photosynthetic microorganisms such as cyanobacteria are often the predominant primary producers, fixing both carbon and nitrogen and producing polysaccharides that aid in soil stabilization. Here, we exposed BSCs to 11CO2 and quantified the spatial distribution of carbon […]