Plant news from around the world
Biologists have discovered and described a new species of wild eggplant, found in Australia's Lost City. The plant is curiously described as "gender bending," coming from the fact that the females actually pretend to be male by producing pollen.
Flower color in some parts of the world, including the Himalayas, has evolved to attract bees as pollinators, research has shown for the first time.
A fossil leaf collected on a Virginia canal bank is one of North America's oldest flowering plants, a 120-million-year-old species new to science. The find raises questions about whether pollen evolved along with flowering plants or came later. It also unearths a forgotten Civil War episode reminiscent of "Twelve Years a Slave": Union troops forced a group of freedmen to dig the canal that exposed the fossil.
The 3rd Science in Botanic Gardens Congress will be held from Tuesday April 1st - Friday April 4th, 2014 at the Viera y Clavijo Botanical Garden in Gran Canaria.
Evidence of disease in oilseed rape crops across China and how it may spread has been mapped by researchers, providing new strategic information on crop protection to the Chinese government.
As trees grow larger in even-aged stands, competition develops among them. Competition weakens trees, as they contend for soil moisture, nutrients, and sunlight. Competition also increases trees' risk to bark beetles and diseases, and subsequently leads to a buildup of dead fuels. A recent study considered if the onset of this risk could be determined.
Plants can reproduce in a multitude of different ways, unlike humans and animals. Scientists have been working on developing new varieties of chamomile that can be cultivated as a medicinal plant. The researchers have been trying to identify varieties that will bloom longer and make its cultivation easier.
The Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture at the University of Delaware will host its Annual Symposium From Tie-Dye to Wi-Fi: Envisioning the Next Generation of Leadership in Public Horticulture on March 7th, 2014, at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.
More than two thirds of the world's plants depend on Glomeromycota soil-dwelling symbiotic fungus to survive, including critical agricultural crops such as wheat, cassava, and rice. The analysis of the Rhizophagus irregularis genome has revealed that it doesn't shuffle genes the way researchers expected. Moreover it has expanded its range of cell-to-cell communication genes and phosphorus-capturing genes.
Using a pioneering visualization method, researchers made movies of a complex and vital cellular machine called the carboxysome being assembled inside living cells. They observed that bacteria build these internal compartments in a way never seen in plant, animal and other eukaryotic cells. The findings will illuminate bacterial physiology and may also influence nanotechnology development.
BGCI is fundraising for our Tree Conservation & Forest Restoration project in Africa as part of the BigGive Christmas Challenge. Donations to BGCI through the BigGive website at 10am GMT on 5th, 6th and 7th of December will be match funded - Double the impact of your donation!
Scientists have succeeded in unraveling the whole genome sequence of desert poplar, Populus euphratica, and the genetic bases underlying poplar to against salt stress. This work provides new insights for understanding the genetic basis of tree adaptation to salt stress and facilitating the genetic breeding of cultivated poplars for saline fields.
A molecular technique that will help the scientific community to analyze -- on a scale previously impossible -- molecules that play a critical role in regulating gene expression has been developed by a research team. The technique, which has potential uses in human health, enables more-accurate prediction of how ribonucleic acid molecules fold within living cells, shedding new light on how living organisms respond to environmental conditions.
Plants have a love-hate relationship with sunlight. While some wavelengths are indispensable to them for performing photosynthesis, others, such as UV-B, are deleterious. Therefore, plants are equipped to detect these highly toxic rays and mount their defenses. Biologists have now generated a transgenic plant which acclimatizes constitutively, regardless of the level of UV-B. This plant possesses a constantly active receptor, which endows it with a higher UV resistance, associated with increased flavonoid production, substances which function as a ‘sunscreen’ and as antioxidants.
A team of scientists looking into the interplay of the immune system and cancer have found a link between a history of airborne allergies – in particular to plants, grass and trees – with risk of blood cancers in women.
A study has found that a super cocktail of six natural compounds in vegetables, fruits, spices and plant roots killed 100 percent of sample breast cancer cells without toxic side effects on normal cells.
Impacts of plant invasions become less robust over time: Invasive plants are more likely to be replaced by other 'invasives'
Among the most impressive ecological findings of the past 25 years is the ability of invasive plants to radically change ecosystem function. Yet few if any studies have examined whether ecosystem impacts of invasions persist over time, and what that means for plant communities and ecosystem restoration.
According to a recent study , harvesting invasive plants for use as biofuels may sound like a great idea, but the reality poses numerous obstacles and is too expensive to consider, at least with the current ethanol pathways.
For decades, researchers thought the closest relatives of papaya were certain trees from the Andes. A study using DNA sequences from all species of the papaya family instead revealed that the closest relatives of papaya are three herbs and a small tree with stinging hairs occurring from Mexico to Guatemala and El Salvador. These plants were so little known that even their scientific names were confused.