ScienceDaily Botany News
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Updated: 8 hours 28 min ago
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.
Scientists have assembled transcriptomes of a noxious weed, Brachypodium sylvaticum, or slender false brome. The transcriptome provides an extensive genetic tool for studying how invasive species, like slender false brome, successfully spread into novel ranges. In addition, the genome is available for a closely related species, Brachypodium distachyon. Together, the transcriptome and genome can be used as a reference for pinpointing differences in slender false brome genes and gene activity that may contribute to its invasive capabilities.
A screening tool eases and greatly quickens one of the thorniest tasks in the biofuels industry: determining cell wall chemistry to find plants with ideal genes.
Researchers in India have developed a filter system based on a medicinal herb, which they say can quickly and easily remove "fluoride" from drinking water. The technology uses parts of the plant Tridax procumbens as a biocarbon filter for the ion.
New research has shown that certain Australian native flowers have shifted away from using insects as pollinators and evolved their flower color to the red hues favored by birds.
For hundreds of years, plant taxonomists have worked to understand how species are related. Until relatively recently, their only reliable source of information about these relationships was the plants' morphology--traits that could be observed, measured, counted, categorized, and described visually. And paramount among these morphological traits were aspects of flower shape and arrangement. However researchers have now found that floral morphologies may be less reliable than other traits in determining the relationships of papilionoid species and genera.
New research has uncovered a mechanism that regulates the reproduction of plants, providing a possible tool for engineering higher yielding crops.
Researchers have found that bees and plants have been surprisingly resilient in the face of warmer temperatures and changing land use. The forests that once grew 10 miles outside of Carlinville are fragments of what they were when Robertson, who collected specimens in the late 1800s, drove his horse and buggy. Fields of corn have replaced acres of trees and prairie. Natural areas have been converted to agricultural, commercial or residential uses. Winter and spring temperatures have risen an average of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But the researchers say that the good news is that these systems and the way they are structured make them really resilient to change.
Two biologists at Washington University in St. Louis were delighted to discover a meticulous dataset on a plant-pollinator network recorded by Illinois naturalist Charles Robertson between 1884 and 1916. Re-collecting part of Robertson's network, they learned that although the network has compensated for some losses, battered by climate change and habitat loss it is now weaker and less resilient than in Robertson's time.
Genetically modified (GM) crops have been a source of great controversy -- particularly in Europe -- but acts of vandalism and associated security costs have made scientific evidence about the health and ecological impacts of those crops hard to come by. A Swiss government-protected field site dedicated for use in GM crop studies could serve as an example to other European countries interested in pursuing crop biotechnology, according to a new article.
Fat worms confirm that researchers have successfully engineered a plant with oily leaves -- a feat that could enhance biofuel production as well as lead to improved animal feeds.
Biologists are collaborating in the characterization of genetic resource of the tree tomato to enhance its cultivation and commercialization in Andean and Mediterranean countries.
Flowers' methods of communicating are at least as sophisticated as any devised by an advertising agency, according to a new study. The research shows for the first time that pollinators such as bumblebees are able to find and distinguish electric signals given out by flowers. However, for any advertisement to be successful, it has to reach, and be perceived by, its target audience.
Flower colors that contrast with their background are more important to foraging bees than patterns of colored veins on pale flowers, according to new research. Researchers' observation of how patterns of pigmentation on flower petals influence bumblebees' behavior suggests that color veins give clues to the location of the nectar. There is little to suggest, however, that bees have an innate preference for striped flowers.
Tomatoes grown on organic farms accumulate higher concentrations of sugars, vitamin C and compounds associated with oxidative stress compared to those grown on conventional farms, according to new research.
Can existing ecological communities persist intact as temperatures rise? A news study suggests that the answer to this question may have as much to do with the biological interactions that shape communities as with the effects of climate change itself.
A genetically mosaic Eucalyptus tree is able to control which leaves are saved from predation because of alterations in its genes, finds a new study. Between two leaves of the same tree there can be many genetic differences – this study found ten SNP, including ones in genes that regulate terpene production, which influence whether or not a leaf is edible