Plant news from around the world
Researchers have successfully mapped the genes in the fungus that causes Dutch elm disease. The researchers believe this is the first time the 30 million DNA letters for the fungus Ophiostoma ulmi have been mapped. The findings could help scientists figure out how to prevent the fungus from destroying elm trees in the future.
Scientists already knew that some social bee species warn their conspecifics when detecting the presence of a predator near their hive, which in turn causes an attack response to the possible predator. Researchers have now demonstrated that they also use chemical signals to mark those flowers where they have previously been attacked.
Researchers found that changes in gravity affect the reproductive process in plants. Gravity modulates traffic on the intracellular “highways” that ensure the growth and functionality of the male reproductive organ in plants, the pollen tube.
Genetically modified Bt cotton plants contain a poison that protects them from their most significant enemies. As a result, these plants rely less on their own defence system. This benefits other pests, such as aphids.
When Gulf of Mexico algae don't get enough nutrients, they focus their remaining energy on becoming more and more poisonous to ensure their survival, according to a new study.
Vincetoxicum rossicum, commonly known as dog-strangling vine, is an alien invasive plant from the Ukraine and southwestern Russia that has now established itself in the northeastern United States and southern Ontario, Canada. This species successfully displaces local native plants, demonstrating high tolerance for environmental variables such as light and soil moisture.
In 2010, it was shown that melons and cucumbers can be traced back to India. Because of the importance of the region for an understanding of Cucurbitaceae evolution and diversity, a new checklist of the Cucurbitaceae of India was produced to update the information on that family.
Long-term droughts in the Southwestern North America often mean failure of both summer and winter rains, according to new tree-ring research. For the severe, multi-decadal droughts that occurred from 1539 to 2008, both winter and summer rains were sparse year after year. The finding contradicts the commonly held belief that a dry winter rainy season is generally followed by a wet monsoon season, and vice versa.
New research shows that the commonly accepted method of depriving algae of key nutrients such as nitrogen in order to boost its oil content may be detrimental to overall oil yield in the long term.
Elephants are vanishing. The booming illegal ivory trade is decimating the world's largest land animal, but no place has been harder hit than the Congo basin and its forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis). The numbers are staggering: a single park in Gabon, Minkebe National Park, has seen 11,100 forest elephants killed in the last eight years; Okapi Faunal Reserve in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has lost 75 percent of its elephants in fifteen years; and a new study in PLoS ONE estimates that in total 60 percent of the world's forest elephants have been killed in the last decade alone. But what does that mean for the Congo forest?
The daffodil is one of the few plants with a 'corona', a crown-like structure also referred to as the 'trumpet'. New research suggests that the corona is not an extension of the petals as previously thought, but is a distinct organ sharing more genetic identity with stamens, the pollen-producing reproductive organs.
You may need a cup of coffee to kick start the day but it seems honeybees also get their buzz from drinking flower nectar containing caffeine.
What can green algae do for science if they weren’t, well, green?
In simple animals like the fruit fly and more recently in plants and mammals, scientists have been able to identify some of the principal players in the developmental symphony. Scientists have now explained for the first time the operation of a mechanism in plants that controls a class of key developmental regulatory genes, called homeobox genes.
The mechanisms behind sap exudation in sugar maple trees -- processes that trigger pressure differences causing sap to flow -- are a topic of much debate. In a new paper, researchers shed light on this subject by proposing a mathematical model for the essential physiological processes that drive sap flow.
The search for a less-expensive, sustainable source of biomass, or plant material, for producing gasoline, diesel and jet fuel has led scientists to duckweed, that fast-growing floating plant that turns ponds and lakes green.
Scientists are reporting an advance in re-engineering photosynthesis to transform plants into bio-factories that manufacture high-value ingredients for medicines, fabrics, fuels and other products.
An international team of scientists has discovered a genetic mechanism which allows potato plants to develop tubers during the long days of spring and summer in northern latitudes. Wild potatoes, which originate in the Andes of South America, were brought to Europe by Spanish sailors in the late 16th century. Naturally occurring near the Equator, Andean potatoes develop tubers on days which are relatively shorter than those in high latitude summer. Newly discovered mutations in a single potato gene are likely to have contributed to the widespread success of the potato, which is the third most important food crop in the world today.
Scientists have identified patterns of epigenomic diversity that not only allow plants to adapt to various environments, but could also benefit crop production and the study of human diseases.
Scientist propose innovative solution to ensure lucrative biofuel plants such as arundo donax do not become invasive weeds that can destroy fragile ecosystems.