Plant news from around the world
In the quest to shrink motors so they can maneuver in tiny spaces like inside and between human cells, scientists have taken inspiration from millions of years of plant evolution and incorporated, for the first time, corkscrew structures from plants into a new kind of helical "microswimmer." The low-cost development could be used on a large scale in targeted drug delivery and other applications.
An international team of scientists have discovered a breakthrough that paves the way for researchers to start controlling growth and density in trees bred for bioenergy production, such as hybrid aspen.
Forest geneticists have created genetically modified poplar trees that grow faster, have resistance to insect pests and are able to retain expression of the inserted genes for at least 14 years, a report has just announced.
Hungry rodents that wake up early are much more likely to be eaten by ocelots than rodents getting plenty of food and shut-eye, according to new results.
A scientific study reveals a new mechanism to control saponin biosynthesis. Saponins are essential in the adaptation of many plants to the environment and have high biomedical and industrial interest.
Studies of gene expression in plants and other organisms rely on the extraction of high-quality RNA. Although numerous protocols for RNA extraction have been developed, most of these are plant-specific, with many tailored for particular crop plants or model organisms. Researchers have developed a new protocol for RNA extraction that can be used across land plants, which comprise over 300,000 species.
New research suggests that a temperature increase of four degrees is likely to "saturate" areas of dense vegetation with carbon, preventing plants from helping to balance CO2 escalation -- and consequently accelerating climate change.
When plants discover a pathogen, they prepare for system-wide attack so they are ready to fight on all levels. Researchers have discovered that this systemic defense can be triggered by a signalling pathway that reacts to short protein fragments. These are thought to originate when a plant cell is damaged by a pathogen. The signalling pathway introduces a molecular mediator into the plant's vascular system, putting all areas on alert.
Unless nitrogen emissions are curbed, the diversity of plant communities in Europe's forests will decrease. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition has already changed the number and richness of forest floor vegetation species in European forests over the last 20-30 years. In particular, the coverage of plant species adapted to nutrient-poor conditions has reduced. However, levels of nitrogen deposition in Finnish forests remain small compared to Southern and Central Europe.
Scientists have mapped a new strain of the citrus greening genome in Brazil.
Ephemeral secondary forests may contribute little to tree-biodiversity conservation, according to a new report by scientists in Panama.
Scientists have made several scientific discoveries demonstrating the significant roles Heterotrimeric G proteins play in plant development and yield.
A long-proboscid fly with an extra-long, tongue-like proboscis might seem to take extra-long to feed on a flower, but it actually has an advantage over its counterparts with average sized nectar-sipping mouth parts. It can suck up almost all nectar available in a flower in one go, because it has more efficient suction pumps in its head, say researchers.
An international team of researchers has discovered that some banana varieties accumulate specific plant toxins in the immediate vicinity of root tissue that has been attacked by the parasitic nematode Radopholus similis. The toxin is stored in lipid droplets in the body of the nematode and the parasite finally dies. These findings provide important clues for the development of pest-resistant banana varieties.
As the end of 2013 approaches, we are pleased to provide some highlights of our work during the year
We know more about wildlife this week, thanks to research by two Canadian teens. Teens from Ottawa and rural British Columbia published their research in this week's issue of a scientific journal.
Plants in the leached soils of Western Australia have developed a special strategy for coping with the scarcity of phosphorus. Plants from the Banksia genus of the Proteaceae family make severe cutbacks, in particular to the RNA found in the ribosomes (rRNA). The cell’s protein factories are the biggest consumers of phosphorus; in this way, the plants save on both phosphorus and water. As global phosphorous reserves are in severe decline, the strategies of the Proteaceae could be of interest from the perspective of optimizing crop plants through breeding.
The home team holds the advantage over visitors – at least in the plant world. However, a mere handful of genetic adaptations could even the playing field. Researchers and their collaborators found that plant adaptation to different environments involves tradeoffs in performance.
From tomatoes to pumpkins, most fruit and vegetable crops rely on pollination by bees and other insect species -- and the future of many of those species is uncertain. Now researchers are proposing a set of guidelines for assessing the performance of pollinator species in order to determine which species are most important and should be prioritized for protection.
Using satellite images, researchers estimate the quantity of carbon that Mexican forests store and identify the species that best serve as a reservoir. This is relevant because the interest that organizations and enterprises have for giving, as an incentive, economic resources to countries with preserved forest zones (payment scheme of environmental services).