Current Plant Biologists News and Events | Page 25

Current Plant Biologists News and Events, Plant Biologists News Articles.
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Study finds natural selection favors cheaters
Natural selection predicts that mutualisms -- interactions between members of different species that benefit both parties -- should fall apart. Individuals that gain from the cooperation of others but do not reciprocate (so-called cheaters) should arise and destabilize mutualisms. Yet to date, surprisingly little evidence of such cheating or destabilization exists. A team of biologists at the University of California, Riverside, has now found strong evidence of this cheating. (2019-03-19)

Rabbits like to eat plants with lots of DNA
Rabbits prefer to eat plants with plenty of DNA, according to a new study by Queen Mary University of London and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2019-03-19)

Excessive phosphate fertilizer use can reduce microbial functions critical to crop health
A team of scientists at Penn State University set out to determine if nutrient history changed the function of soil microorganisms. The answer seems to be yes, and that soil treated with high amounts of phosphate can result in poorer plant performance, but even more intriguing, it appears that the soil microorganisms from this conditioned soil can negatively impact plant yield. (2019-03-18)

New cell subtypes classified in mouse brain
An international team has created a new way to classify neurons in the mouse brain. The approach is revealing new brain cell subtypes even while bringing the BRAIN Initiative closer to its goal of comprehensively mapping a whole brain. (2019-03-13)

Mystery solved -- biologists in Dresden explain the genetic origins of the saffron crocus
For almost 100 years, there has been controversy as to the possible parent species of the saffron crocus are. If the parent species were known, changes could be inserted into the crocus genome by new breeding. It is precisely this mystery that Dresden biologists have now solved. (2019-03-11)

Illuminating the genome
Development of a new molecular visualisation method, RNA-guided endonuclease -- in situ labelling (RGEN-ISL) for the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated labelling of genomic sequences in nuclei and chromosomes. (2019-03-08)

Study confirms horseshoe crabs are really relatives of spiders, scorpions
By analyzing troves of genetic data and considering a vast number of possible ways to examine it, University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists now have a high degree of confidence that horseshoe crabs do indeed belong within the arachnids. (2019-03-08)

Biologists have studied enzymes that help wheat to fight fungi
Scientists from I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University together with their Russian colleagues studied reaction of wheat plants to damage caused by pathogenic fungi. They examined activation of enzymes involved in cell death induced in response to infection. The research results and enzyme classification were published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. (2019-03-08)

'Specialized' microbes within plant species promote diversity
A Yale-led research team conducted an experiment that suggests microbes can specialize within plant species, which can promote plant species diversity and increased seed dispersal. (2019-03-07)

Houston, we're here to help the farmers
The International Space Station's ECOSTRESS gathers plant data. (2019-03-06)

Insect food webs
Biological diversity stabilizes species interactions. (2019-03-06)

Transcription factor network gets to heart of wood formation
Research on high-level switches that control wood formation has applications in timber, paper and biofuels, as well as making forests healthier. (2019-03-06)

University of Utah biologists experimentally trigger adaptive radiation
Using host-specific parasites isolated on individual pigeon 'islands,' the scientists showed that descendants of a single population of feather lice adapted rapidly in response to preening. They found that preening drives rapid and divergent camouflage in feather lice transferred to different colored rock pigeons. Over four years and 60 generations, the lice evolved heritable color differences that spanned the full color range of the lice genus found on 300 bird species worldwide. (2019-03-05)

The secret behind maximum plant height: water!
Ecologists from the South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences concluded that such coordination plays an important role in determining global sorting of plant species, and can be useful in predicting future species distribution under climate change scenarios. (2019-03-05)

Boyce Thompson Institute researchers uncover new structures at plant-fungal interface
For millions of years, plants and fungi have exchanged crucial nutrients such as phosphate and fatty acids, but the mechanism by which this exchange happens has been poorly understood. Now, researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute have uncovered structural networks of tubules at the plant-fungal interface that could shed light on the mechanisms of this symbiotic partnership. Details of the study were published in Nature Plants on Feb. 8. (2019-03-04)

Research provides insight on survivability of rare Wyoming plant
The research found that despite the low density of the desert yellowhead -- there are fewer than 15,000 individual plants scattered across just 55 acres -- these populations survive partly because of a principle called negative density dependence. (2019-03-04)

How the humble marigold outsmarts a devastating tomato pest
Researchers from Newcastle University's School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, carried out a study to prove what gardeners around the world have known for generations -- marigolds repel tomato whiteflies. (2019-03-01)

Living together: How legume roots accommodate two distinct microbial partners
University of Tsukuba researchers, collaborating with two other Japanese universities, have revealed a key piece in the complex genetic systems that control how legume roots form close associations (symbioses) with microbial partners that help supply nutrients to the plant. They discovered a gene in the model legume, Lotus japonicus, that is crucial for enabling both nitrogen-fixing rhizobia bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi to colonize the roots. (2019-02-28)

How Capsella followed its lonely heart
The Brassicaceae plant family boasts a stunning diversity of fruit shapes. But even in this cosmopolitan company the heart-shaped seed pods of the Capsella genus stand out. (2019-02-28)

Research identifies mechanism that helps plants fight bacterial infection
A team led by a plant pathologist at the University of California, Riverside, has identified a regulatory, genetic mechanism in plants that could help fight bacterial infection. (2019-02-28)

Directed evolution builds nanoparticles
Directed evolution is a powerful technique for engineering proteins. EPFL scientists now show that it can also be used to engineer synthetic nanoparticles as optical biosensors, which are used widely in biology, drug development, and even medical diagnostics such as real-time monitoring of glucose. (2019-02-27)

New research gives insight into warding off insect pests by way of nematode odors
A recent study revealed insect-killing nematodes also produce distinctive chemical cues that enhance plant defenses and deter Colorado potato beetles. Entomologists from Texas A&M University, including Dr. Anjel Helms, who led the study, and Penn State University took a look at whether Colorado potato beetles and potato plants responded to the presence of entomopathogenic nematodes, EPNs, or insect-killing nematodes. (2019-02-27)

Plant-based meals improve insulin and incretin secretion in those with type 2 diabetes
A plant-based diet improves the secretion of insulin and incretin hormones in those with type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in Nutrients. (2019-02-27)

How fungi influence global plant colonisation
The symbiosis of plants and fungi has a great influence on the worldwide spread of plant species. In some cases, it even acts like a filter. This has been discovered by an international team of researchers with participation from the University of Göttingen. The results appeared in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. (2019-02-27)

Yeast produce low-cost, high-quality cannabinoids
UC Berkeley synthetic biologists have created an enzymatic network in yeast that turns sugar into cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, but also novel cannabinoids not found in the marijuana plant itself. The yeast factories would be more environmentally friendly and less energy intensive than growing the plant and separating out the psychoactive and non-psychoactive ingredients. They may also yield cannabinoid derivatives with unexpected medical uses. (2019-02-27)

Improving ecosystems with aquatic plants
Wetland restoration is critical for improving ecosystem services, but many aquatic plant nurseries do not have facilities similar to those typically used for large-scale plant production. This study attempts to determine what methods would effectively benefit the large-scale production of aquatic plants as a possible resource of bolstering the improvement of the ecosystems. (2019-02-27)

The paper mulberry coevolved with soil microbes to humanity's benefit
The paper mulberry evolved its uniquely fibrous inner bark around 31 million years ago, long before the woody tree was first used for bookmaking during China's Tang dynasty. This adaptation, which makes the nutrient-rich plant easy to pass through foraging animals, may have been its way of feeding nearby soil microbes. Botanists in China discovered this connection in the first analysis of the Broussonetia papyrifera genome, published Feb. 26 in the journal Molecular Plant. (2019-02-26)

Insects hijack reproductive genes of grape vines to create own living space on plant
Grape phylloxera -- the insect that nearly wiped out wine production at the end of the 19th century in France -- hijacks a grape vine's reproductive programs to create a leaf gall, which it uses as a pseudo apartment for the parasite to siphon off the plant's nutrients. (2019-02-25)

An easier way to engineer plants
MIT researchers have developed a genetic tool that could make it easier to engineer plants that can survive drought or resist fungal infections. Their technique, which uses nanoparticles to deliver genes into the chloroplasts of plant cells, works with many different plant species. (2019-02-25)

With nanotubes, genetic engineering in plants is easy-peasy
Genetically modifying plants requires gene guns or bacteria to carry DNA into the cell, but the success rate is low. UC Berkeley researchers developed a quick, efficient way to deliver genes into plants: loaded onto carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes easily diffuse through the cell wall and the DNA is expressed in the nucleus and chloroplast. The gene does not insert into the genome, so outside the EU the modifications would not be considered GMO. (2019-02-25)

Breeding a better strawberry
An international team of scientists led by the University of California, Davis, and Michigan State University have sequenced and analyzed the genome of the cultivated strawberry, which will provide a genetic roadmap to help more precisely select desired traits. (2019-02-25)

A tasty Florida butterfly turns sour
A 15-year study led by University of Arizona entomologist Katy Prudic found that, when living apart from the unsavory bug it mimics, the viceroy butterfly becomes yucky, making biologists rethink old theories about animal mimicry. (2019-02-22)

Captured carbon dioxide converts into oxalic acid to process rare earth elements
Removing carbon dioxide from power plant emissions is a good idea to start with -- and it may have an extra economic benefit. A Michigan Tech engineering is presenting their results this week on turning carbon dioxide into oxalic acid, which is used to process rare earth elements for electronic devices. (2019-02-22)

How plants learned to save water
Plants that can manage with less water could make agriculture more sustainable. This is why a research team at the University of Würzburg is investigating how plants control their water balance. (2019-02-21)

Foreign bees monopolize prize resources in biodiversity hotspot
New research revealed that foreign honey bees often account for more than 90 percent of pollinators observed visiting flowers in San Diego, considered a global biodiversity hotspot. The non-native bees have established robust feral populations and currently make up 75 percent of the region's observed pollinators. Their monopoly over the most abundantly blooming plant species may strongly affect the ecology and evolution of species that are foundational to the stability of the region's plant-pollinator interactions. (2019-02-20)

Plants: How cell walls are assembled
Plant researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) are providing new insights into basic cell division in plants. The scientists have succeeded in understanding how processes are coordinated that are pivotal in properly separating daughter cells during cell division. In the renowned scientific publication The EMBO Journal, they describe the tasks of certain membrane building blocks and how plants are impacted when these building blocks are disrupted. (2019-02-20)

Native California medicinal plant may hold promise for treating Alzheimer's
The medicinal powers of aspirin, digitalis, and the anti-malarial artemisinin all come from plants. A Salk Institute discovery of a potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory chemical in a native California shrub may lead to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease based on a compound found in nature. The research appears in the February 2019 issue of the journal Redox Biology. (2019-02-20)

Plants can skip the middlemen to directly recognize disease-causing fungi
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne have revealed that direct physical associations between plant immune proteins and fungal molecules are widespread during attempted infection. The authors' findings run counter to current thinking and may have important implications for engineering disease resistance in crop species. (2019-02-19)

Hot great white sharks could motor but prefer to swim slow
Great white sharks have warmer muscles than other cold-blooded fish so they could swimmer faster, but now it turns out that they actually choose to swim relatively slowly when browsing their feeding grounds, probably to increase their chance of catching a fat seal snack. (2019-02-18)

Machine learning unlocks plants' secrets
Plants are master chemists, and Michigan State University researchers have unlocked their secret of producing specialized metabolites. (2019-02-18)

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