Plant news from around the world
Plant hormones called brassinosteroids help plants choose the best survival strategy depending on their stage of growth and environmental pressures.
In deserts, variable weather is common so that plant community patterns can change between wet and dry years, with high densities and a diversity of plants in wet years, and a reduction in both quantity and number of species in dry years. The effect that two important variables have on plant communities -- competition and water usage -- was investigated in the Sonoran Desert by a research group at the University of Arizona.
The results of a field trial with genetically modified poplar trees in Belgium, shows that the wood of lignin modified poplar trees can be converted into sugars in a more efficient way. These sugars can serve as the starting material for producing bio-based products like bio-plastics and bio-ethanol.
A short fragment of chloroplastic DNA as a "barcode" for species identification within a group of palm species, including the economically important date palm Phoenix dactylifera, has been proposed by researchers from IRD, France, and CRA-FSO, Italy. Species and hybrids recognition is important for the protection of endemic or rare species, as well as for preserving the genetic integrity of varieties. The study was published in a special issue of the open access journal ZooKeys.
A recent study shows that a root-knot nematode species previously considered indigenous to Europe was actually introduced from Asia, and that its host range is wider than previously thought.
Researchers announced that they have determined a way to dramatically increase tomato production. Their research has revealed a genetic mechanism for hybrid vigor, a property of plant breeding that has long been exploited to boost yield. Teasing out the hidden subtleties of a type of hybrid vigor involving just one gene has provided the scientists with means to extend the length of time that specific tomato varieties can produce flowers, substantially raising fruit yield.
If grassland is managed intensively, biodiversity typically declines. A new study led by Bernese plant ecologists shows that it is rare species that suffer the most. These negative effects could be reduced, if farmers varied the intensity of their land use between years.
Trees with smoother bark are better at repelling attacks by mountain pine beetles, which have difficulty gripping the slippery surface, according to a new study.
Researchers have found new clues to how plants evolved to withstand wintry weather. Scientists constructed an evolutionary tree of more than 32,000 species of flowering plants -- the largest time-scaled evolutionary tree to date. By combining their tree with freezing exposure records and leaf and stem data, the researchers were able to reconstruct how plants evolved to cope with cold as they spread across the globe.
Using the largest dated evolutionary tree of flowering plants ever assembled, a new study suggests how plants developed traits to withstand low temperatures, with implications that human-induced climate change may pose a bigger threat than initially thought to plants and global agriculture.
Researchers have determined an epic expansion of a plant's mitochondrial genome via of horizontal gene transfer, acquiring six genome equivalents of foreign DNA. It is the first time that an organelle has captured entire "foreign" genomes, those from other organisms, and the first description of a land plant acquiring genes from green algae.
Scientists have developed a new set of molecular tools for controlling the production of (poly)phenols, plant compounds important for flavors, human health, and biofuels.
A new study has uncovered an unprecedented example of horizontal gene transfer in a South Pacific shrub that is considered to be the sole survivor of one of the two oldest lineages of flowering plants.
Biologists have sequenced the genome of the Amborella plant. The genome sequence sheds new light on a major event in the history of life on Earth: the origin of flowering plants, including all major food crop species.
At this time of year many people will be bringing conifer trees into their homes to celebrate Christmas. But what is the status of conifer species in the wild?
One way to reduce concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is to ensure that carbon is stored on the ground to the greatest extent possible. But how do you quantify the potential of landscapes to stock carbon? Researchers now present the first continental-scale assessment of which areas may provide the greatest direct and indirect benefits from carbon storage reforestation projects in Africa.
Join APGA Executive Director, Casey Sclar, in Washington, D.C. February 24-25, 2014 for the opportunity to meet face to face with U.S. legislators, and discuss the relevance and impact of public gardens and how they are affected by federal policy. APGA members can register for FREE.
Woodpeckers find emerald ash borers a handy food source and may slow the spread of this noxious pest, even ultimately controlling it, suggest researchers.
The International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN) held its first EUPHRSECO partners meeting at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 3rd-4th December 2013. Participants included representatives from the UK, Germany and Italy.