Plant news from around the world
Rendering some of the world’s toxic soils far less unfriendly, researchers are learning to grow stress-tolerant crops on formerly non-farmable land.
People who followed a six-week cooking program and followed simple, plant-based recipes decreased their total food spending, purchased healthier food items and improved their food security.
The first red alga genome has just been sequenced. The genome of Chondrus crispus, also known by the Breton name 'pioka', turns out to be small and compact for a multicellular organism. It has fewer genes than several other species of unicellular algae, which raises a number of questions about the evolution of red algae. This low number of genes could explain why these organisms never colonized dry land, unlike their green counterparts-from which all terrestrial plants are descended.
Hunting for meat in the African rainforests has halved the number of primates. However, the hunting also has other negative consequences. The decline in the number of primates causes a reduction in the dispersal of seed by the primates, and this leads to a reduction in the numbers of important fruit trees and changes to the rainforest.
In the world's forested regions, two management systems -- retention forestry and agroforestry -- are being used to alleviate conflicts between preserving biodiversity and addressing human needs in production landscapes. A new article draws a parallel between the ecological effects of the two systems.
Strange thickened antennae like bulls' horns and mustache-like scent scales are amongst the romantic armory of males of Australia's tiniest moths, as revealed in a new study of their diversity and evolution. The arid continent has provided an ideal home for the ancient pigmy moths, which have taken to Eucalyptus and related plants as hosts for their leaf-mining caterpillars, and diversified into at least 140 species.
Native species on the island of Mauritius have long had to deal with invasive species. In fact, invasives likely played a major role in the extinction of the Mauritius' most famous resident, the dodo. While scientists have long cataloged the impact of invasive animals on island wildlife, there has been less clarity when it comes to invasive plants. However, a new paper in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation has found that invasive plants do indeed negatively impact local species.
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?