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Meloidogyne mali: A new invasive plant parasitic nematode in Europe
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. The newly discovered invasive species was described in the open access journal ZooKeys. (2013-12-30)

Controlling parasitic worms with genetic selection
Helminths are gastrointestinal parasitic worms that have become a major concern and source of economic loss for sheep producers around the world. A new article published today in the Canadian Journal of Animal Science reviews current research into a promising alternative to control the disease. (2013-12-19)

Evolution of plumage patterns in male and female birds
Research looks at the evolutionary pathways to differences in bird plumage patterns between males and females -- and concludes that birds are able to adapt their appearance with remarkable ease. (2013-12-19)

'Superbugs' found breeding in sewage plants
Tests at wastewater treatment plants in China revealed antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding and spreading their dangerous cargo. (2013-12-16)

New study identifies 5 distinct humpback whale populations in North Pacific
The first comprehensive genetic study of humpback whale populations in the North Pacific Ocean has identified five distinct populations -- at the same time a proposal to designate North Pacific humpbacks as a single (2013-12-04)

Rainfall to blame for decline in Arctic peregrines
Rain, crucial to sustaining life on Earth, is proving deadly for young peregrine falcons in Canada's Arctic, a University of Alberta study shows. (2013-12-03)

How onions recognize when to bulb
New research from New Zealand identifies the gene that controls onion bulb deveopment will help to breed new varieties tailored to grow in specific conditions. (2013-12-03)

Smithsonian scientists honored as AAAS Fellows
Four Smithsonian scientists have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They have been elevated to this rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. The names of all 388 AAAS fellows for 2013 are announced in the Nov. 29 issue of Science. (2013-11-26)

Study: Contented males fare better with the 'ladies'
A first-ever study from the University of Guelph reveals that relaxed, content male mink raised in enriched environments -- cages complete with pools, toys and swings -- are more successful in the mating season. The research, led by animal welfare expert Professor Georgia Mason and her doctoral student Maria Diez-Leon, appears today in PLOS ONE. The findings may help improve mating among captive animals, especially those with breeding problems such as giant pandas and Canada's rare black-footed ferrets. (2013-11-25)

Geneticists receive funding to improve citrus production and health
Two plant geneticists at the University of California, Riverside have received a $450,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the US Department of Agriculture to develop a (2013-11-20)

The secret of short stems
Arabidopsis plants that only reach half their normal height have a mutation in the biosynthesis of the plant growth factor gibberellin. (2013-11-12)

Tagging aquatic animals can disrupt natural behavior
American and Canadian researchers have for the first time quantified the energy cost to aquatic animals when they carry satellite tags, video cameras and other research instruments. (2013-10-31)

2 grants to UC Riverside boost scientists' efforts in developing improved cowpea varieties
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside received substantial funding -- nearly $7 million -- by way of two grants from the US Agency for International Development to continue their work on developing better yielding varieties of cowpea through new genomic resources and marker-assisted breeding -- research by which UC Riverside directly impacts cowpea production in several countries in Africa. (2013-10-30)

New Texas A&M gene study aimed at enhanced cotton fiber breeding, toolkits
A new study by Texas A&M University cotton researchers and breeders will take advantage of new high-throughput sequencing technology to rapidly advance cotton genetics research and breeding. The three-year, $500,000 National Institute for Food and Agriculture-funded study will be conducted by Dr. Hongbin Zhang. Their goal: maintain US cotton's competitiveness in the world cotton market, according to Dr. Hongbin Zhang, professor of plant genomics and systems biology and director of the Laboratory for Plant Genomics and Molecular Genetics in College Station. (2013-10-29)

The people's choice: Americans would pay to help monarch butterflies
Americans place high value on butterfly royalty. A just-released study suggests they are willing to support monarch butterfly conservation at high levels, up to about $6.5 billion dollars if extrapolated to all US households. If even a small percentage of the population acted upon this reported willingness, the cumulative effort would likely translate into a large, untapped potential for conservation of the iconic butterfly. (2013-10-28)

Fraunhofer and Continental come together when the dandelion rubber meets the road
Rubber can be extracted from the juice of the dandelion. Working jointly with industry and science, the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME has optimized the cultivation and production engineering over the past few years. Now the researchers -- in collaboration with Continental -- are building the first ever pilot system to extract vast quantities of dandelion rubber for making tires: An important milestone on the path to rubber procurement in Europe. (2013-10-28)

Surprises discovered in decoded kiwifruit genome
A new study that decoded the DNA sequence of the kiwifruit has concluded that the fruit has many genetic similarities between its 39,040 genes and other plant species, including potatoes and tomatoes. The study also has unveiled two major evolutionary events that occurred millions of years ago in the kiwifruit genome. (2013-10-25)

The molecular clock of the common buzzard
Be it hibernation or the routes of migratory birds: all animal behavior that is subject to annual rhythms is controlled by a molecular clock. Although this has been known for a long time, in many cases it is still unclear how far genes are involved in setting this internal clock. Up to now, this also applied to the common buzzard and its migration from parental breeding grounds. (2013-10-23)

AgriLife Research develops new lines of cool-season grasses
Breeding lines of summer-dormant cool-season grasses suited for the Rolling Plains are ready for seed increase after four years of improvement at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center near Vernon. Dr. Dariusz Malinowski, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research forage cropping systems scientist, began work in 2000 with cool-season perennial grasses for the Rolling Plains region in collaboration with Grasslanz Technology Ltd. in New Zealand. (2013-10-22)

Sex over survival: Reproductive trait in fish impedes tissue regeneration
New research on the reproductive habits of zebrafish offers an explanation as to why some animals' bodies repair tissues. The research team previously noticed that male zebrafish regenerate their pectoral fins poorly, as compared to females. Their latest findings reveal the basis for this sex-specific regenerative deficiency: structures that are used to improve reproductive success. The scenario represents an example of the tradeoffs between reproduction and survival. (2013-10-14)

Infanticide linked to wet-nursing in meerkats
Mothers who lose their pups to infanticide by the dominant female in a meerkat group often then provide the dominant female with a wet-nurse service, say researchers who have carried out the most comprehensive study of wet-nursing in a single species to date. (2013-10-07)

Like father, not like son
Brain and song structure in zebra finches are strongly influenced by the environment. (2013-10-02)

The fish and the egg: Towards a new strategy for fattening up red drum in Texas
Are red drum fish (2013-09-23)

First look at complete sorghum genome may usher in new uses for food and fuel
Although sorghum lines underwent adaptation to be grown in temperate climates decades ago, a University of Illinois researcher said he and his team have completed the first comprehensive genomic analysis of the molecular changes behind that adaptation. (2013-09-23)

Siberian hamsters show what helps make seasonal clocks tick
Many animals, including humans, have internal clocks and calendars to help them regulate behavior, physiological functions and biological processes. Although scientists have extensively studied the timekeeping mechanisms that inform daily functions (circadian rhythms), they know very little about the timekeeping mechanisms that inform seasonal functions. (2013-09-23)

Promiscuity and sperm selection improves genetic quality in birds
University of East Anglia research shows that females can maximize the genetic quality of their offspring by being promiscuous. Researchers studied red junglefowl and found that mating with different males helps females produce healthier offspring -- due to a mechanism in their reproductive tract which favors sperm from the most genetically different males. This is important for animal breeders because it shows that allowing multiple matings produces the most disease resistant and genetically healthy offspring. (2013-09-03)

Young whoopers stay the course when they follow a wise old bird
How do birds find their way on migration? Is their route encoded in their genes, or learned? Working with records from a long-term effort to reintroduce critically endangered whooping cranes in the Eastern US, University of Maryland-led researchers found these long-lived birds learn the route from older cranes, and get better at it with age. (2013-08-29)

Targeting mosquito breeding sites could boost malaria control efforts in Africa and Asia
A malaria control method that targets mosquito larvae and pupae as they mature in standing water could be an important supplementary measure in the fight against the disease, according to a new report led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. (2013-08-28)

Forest-interior birds may be benefiting from harvested clearings
In an article published recently in the American Ornithologist Union's publication (2013-08-21)

Study finds PHS gene that prevents wheat from sprouting
Researchers have found and cloned a gene that prevents wheat from preharvest sprouting. The finding will to be most beneficial to white wheat production, which loses $1 billion annually. (2013-08-20)

Unscrambling the genetics of the chicken's 'blue' egg
Researchers at The University of Nottingham have unscrambed the genetic mutation that causes the distinctive blue eggs laid by some breeds of chicken. (2013-08-20)

Huge owls need huge trees
A study spearheaded by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Minnesota has shown that the world's largest owl -- and one of the rarest -- is also a key indicator of the health of some of the last great primary forests of Russia's Far East. (2013-08-15)

Good-looking birds: Sexual attractiveness in the wild turkey
Why are some individuals more attractive to the opposite sex than others? New research by a team from University College London and Oxford University, published in PLOS Genetics, has shown that in wild turkeys, the essence of male beauty is mainly dependent on the way that males use their genes, rather than differences in the genes themselves. (2013-08-15)

Monarch butterflies migration path tracked by generations for first time
For the first time, researchers have mapped that migration pattern of monarch butterflies across the continent over an entire breeding season. That information might help conserve a creature increasingly threatened by loss of habitat and food sources, says Tyler Flockhart, a Ph.D. student in the University of Guelph's Department of Integrative Biology. (2013-08-07)

Marine life spawns sooner as oceans warm
Warming oceans are impacting the breeding patterns and habitat of marine life, effectively re-arranging the broader marine landscape as species adjust to a changing climate, according to a three-year international study published today in Nature Climate Change. (2013-08-06)

'Nursery nests' are better for survival of young black-and-white ruffed lemurs
Young Malagasy black-and-white ruffed lemurs are more likely to survive when they are raised in (2013-08-06)

Understanding why male mammals choose monogamy
This new study informs the setting in which social monogamy evolved in male mammals, which has been debated by evolutionary biologists for decades. (2013-07-29)

Monogamy evolved as a mating strategy
Social monogamy, where one breeding female and one breeding male are closely associated with each other over several breeding seasons, appears to have evolved as a mating strategy, new research reveals. It was previously suspected that social monogamy resulted from a need for extra parental care by the father. (2013-07-29)

Novel study using new technologies outlines importance of California condor social groups
The intricate social hierarchy of the California condor, an endangered species, is something that could not be studied until recently due to the severe reduction of this population in the wild. The first formal study on this species, based on remote video observation of reintroduced populations, indicates that the species has a complex system of interactions based on dominance. (2013-07-15)

Drought response identified in potential biofuel plant
Drought resistance is the key to large-scale production of Jatropha, a potential biofuel plant -- and an international group of scientists has identified the first step toward engineering a hardier variety. (2013-07-15)

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