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Current Plant Knowledge News and Events, Plant Knowledge News Articles.
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UMD researcher expands plant genome editing with newly engineered variant of CRISPR-Cas9
Recently named a Web of Science 2020 Highly Cited Researcher, Yiping Qi of the University of Maryland already has a new high-profile publication in 2021 introducing SpRY, a newly engineered variant of the famed gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9. SpRY removes the barriers of what can and can't be targeted for gene editing, making it possible for the first time to target nearly any genomic sequence in plants for potential mutation. (2021-01-22)

Could lab-grown plant tissue ease the environmental toll of logging and agriculture?
MIT researchers have proposed a method for growing plant-based materials, like wood and fiber, in a lab. The technology is still in early development but might one day help reduce the environmental footprint of some types of agriculture. (2021-01-21)

Novel effector biology research provides insights into devastating citrus greening disease
Ma and her colleagues at the University of California and the University of Florida used molecular plant pathology approaches to dissect the mechanisms of the ongoing tug-of-war between the citrus host and the bacterial pathogen that causes citrus greening disease. (2021-01-21)

Seeds transfer their microbes to the next generation
Scientists have been pondering if the microbiome of plants is due to nature or nurture. Research at Stockholm University, published in Environmental Microbiology, showed that oak acorns contain a large diversity of microbes, and that oak seedlings inherit their microbiome from these acorns. The microorganisms found on the seed are often valuable for the plant, promoting its growth and protecting it against certain diseases. Each plant species harbours a distinct microbial community. (2021-01-21)

Methods in studying cycad leaf nutrition found to be inconsistent and incomplete
Collective research to date regarding nutrients found in the leaves of contemporary cycad species has been inconsistent as far as data collection and narrow in scope, according to a University of Guam-led literature review published on Nov. 19 in Horticulturae journal. (2021-01-21)

Stealing the spotlight in the field and kitchen
New dry beans from UC Davis combine desirable qualities for both farmers and consumers (2021-01-20)

Getting shapes into numbers
A mathematical framework enables accurate characterization of shapes (2021-01-20)

Early breeding reduced harmful mutations in sorghum
A new Cornell University study found that harmful mutations in sorghum landraces - early domesticated crops - decreased compared to their wild relatives through the course of domestication and breeding. (2021-01-20)

New heat method kills pathogens with minimal damage to plants
Turechek and colleagues set out to develop a new heat-based treatment that would kill pathogens without hurting the plant. When asked what most excited them about their research and their new method, Turechek responded, 'That it works! By introducing a lower-temperature conditioning step and using steam rather than hot water, we produced plants that were better able to withstand the higher temperature treatment designed to destroy the pathogen.' (2021-01-19)

New biodegradable polyurethane foams are developed from wheat straw
The polyurethane foams have several industrial uses. Now, a new paper, published on the front page of Polymers, was able to obtain them from biomass in order to avoid using petroleum by-products in their manufacturing (2021-01-19)

Scientists reveal structure of plants' energy generators
Researchers have revealed the first atomic structures of the respiratory apparatus that plants use to generate energy, according to a study published today in eLife. (2021-01-19)

As the American hemp industry grows, so does our understanding of hemp diseases
As hemp begins to reemerge as an important crop in the United States, scientists are beginning research into the diseases that might prevent the crop from flourishing. A study published in the December issue of Plant Health Progress is one of the first to study the potential disease and disorder limitations for hemp production in the southeastern United States. (2021-01-18)

WSU scientists identify contents of ancient Maya drug containers
Scientists have identified the presence of a non-tobacco plant in ancient Maya drug containers for the first time. The researchers detected Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) in residues taken from 14 miniature Maya ceramic vessels. The vessels also contain chemical traces present in two types of dried and cured tobacco. (2021-01-15)

Divergences between scientific and Indigenous and Local Knowledge can be helpful
Divergences between scientific and Indigenous and Local Knowledge can provide a better understanding of why local pastoralists may be willing, or not, to participate in conservation initiatives for carnivores, a study from University of Helsinki suggests. (2021-01-15)

New study compiles four years of corn loss data from 26 states and Ontario, Canada
Plant pathologists working at universities across 26 corn-producing states in the United States and in Ontario, Canada, compiled data about annual corn reductions caused by diseases. Estimated loss from each disease varied greatly by region. (2021-01-15)

Plant roots sense compacted soil through gaseous hormone signals
The volatile plant hormone ethylene allows plant roots to sense and avoid compacted soils, researchers report. (2021-01-14)

Hard to crack research reveals how crop roots penetrate hard soils
Scientists have discovered a signal that causes roots to stop growing in hard soils which can be 'switched off' to allow them to punch through compacted soil - a discovery that could help plants to grow in even the most damaged soils. (2021-01-14)

Comprehensive characterization of vascular structure in plants
With funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, two teams of plant researchers and bioinformatics researchers under the leadership of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) have succeeded for the first time in identifying the functions of the different cell types in the leaf vasculature of plants. They present their fundamental findings in the current edition of the journal ''The Plant Cell''. (2021-01-12)

TU Graz identifies bacterium that protects rice plants against diseases
With their expertise in microbiome research, the researchers at the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology were able to demonstrate how a specific bacterium inside the seeds of rice plants effectively and in an eco-friendly way inhibits destructive plant pathogens. (2021-01-11)

Knowledge of cycad branching behavior improves conservation
Research on cycad trees in Colombia, Guam, and the Philippines has illuminated how knowledge of their branching behavior may benefit conservation decisions for the endangered plants. In a study published in the December issue of the journal Horticulturae, scientists from the University of Guam and the Montgomery Botanical Center in Florida show that the number of times a cycad tree produces a branch can be used to infer the sex of the tree. (2021-01-11)

Possible explanation for more efficient maize growth
Plant researchers at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) have investigated the transport of compounds in maize. They focused on the mechanism used to transport the products of photosynthesis for further distribution in the plant through its phloem loading pathways. In the current edition of the journal ''The Plant Cell'', they describe how this mechanism has potentially created a special evolutionary advantage for maize. (2021-01-08)

A plant's way to its favorite food
Nitrogen is one the most essential nutrients for plants. Its availability in the soil plays a major role in plant growth and development, thereby affecting agricultural productivity. Scientists at the IST Austria were now able to show, how plants adjust their root growth to varying sources of nitrogen. In a new study published in The EMBO Journal they give insights in the molecular pathways of roots adaptation. (2021-01-05)

Uncovering how plants see blue light
Plants can perceive and react to light across a wide spectrum. New research from the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences shows how plants can respond to blue light in particular by revealing the structure of cryptochrome-2, the molecule that reacts to blue light. (2021-01-04)

Anti-transpirant products unnecessary in cycad propagation
In a first-of-its-kind study within cycad horticulture literature, University of Guam researchers have found that the use of anti-transpirants neither help nor hinder successful propagation of cycad stem cuttings. (2020-12-30)

Flag leaves could help top off photosynthetic performance in rice
A team from the University of Illinois and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) found that some flag leaves of different varieties of rice transform light and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates better than others, potentially opening new opportunities for breeding higher yielding rice varieties. (2020-12-29)

The puzzle of nonhost resistance: why do pathogens harm some plants but not others?
There are many examples of plants that are susceptible to one pathogen but able to resist another closely related pathogen. By uncovering the mechanism behind resistance, we can obtain a deeper understanding of the plant immune system and can also uncover previously unknown aspects of immune signaling and regulation, which can help scientists improve resistance against a broader spectrum of pathogens. (2020-12-29)

Groups of bacteria can work together to better protect crops and improve their growth
Certain bacteria, known as plant-growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), can improve plant health or protect them from pathogens and are used commercially to help crops. To further improve agricultural yields, it is helpful to identify factors that can improve PGPB behavior. (2020-12-28)

Discovery of chemical clue may lead to solving cacao's black pod rot mystery
The finding of relatively high levels of the antimicrobial compound clovamide in the leaves of a disease-resistant strain of cacao has significant implications for breeding trees that can tolerate black pod rot, according to Penn State researchers who conducted a novel study. (2020-12-23)

Capturing 40 years of climate change for an endangered Montana prairie
Over 40 years of monitoring, an endangered bunchgrass prairie became hotter, drier and more susceptible to fire annually--but dramatic seasonal changes (not annual climate trends) seem to be driving the biggest changes in plant production, composition, and summer senescence. Gary Belovsky and Jennifer Slade of The University of Notre Dame, Indiana, present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on December 23, 2020. (2020-12-23)

Variety: Spice of life for bumble bees
The yield and quality of many crops benefit from pollination, but it isn't just honey bees that do this work: bumble bees also have a role. A team led by University of Göttingen used innovative molecular biological methods and traditional microscopy to investigate the pollen collecting behaviour of honey bees and bum-ble bees in agricultural landscapes. It turns out bumble bees take much more pollen from different plant species than honey bees to satisfy their need for protein. (2020-12-21)

Chemical composition of wild potato relative contributes to its resistance to pathogen
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is the most consumed vegetable crop worldwide. However, despite its importance, potato production is severely affected by high susceptibility to a wide range of microbial pathogens, such as bacteria from the genus Pectobacterium, which cause various devastating diseases in potato and produce important economic losses. (2020-12-21)

New flower from 100 million years ago brings fresh holiday beauty to 2020
Researchers have identified a spectacular new genus and species of flower from the mid-Cretaceous period, a male specimen whose sunburst-like reach for the heavens was frozen in time by Burmese amber. (2020-12-21)

Plants can be larks or night owls just like us
Plants have the same variation in body clocks as that found in humans, according to new research that explores the genes governing circadian rhythms in plants. (2020-12-18)

Researcher boosts vegetable oil production in plant leaves
Jay Thelen, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Missouri, has found a way to boost the production of triacylglycerol -- the main component of vegetable oil -- in plant leaves, a technique that could allow producers to harvest oil from large, leafy plants that also have other uses. Sorghum, for example -- a global source of grain prized for its drought-resistant qualities -- could serve a dual role as a source of vegetable oil, creating a more efficient and valuable crop. (2020-12-17)

How climate change is disrupting ecosystems
When it gets warmer, organisms rise higher from the lowlands. Swiss Researchers investigated what could happen to plant communities on alpine grasslands if grasshoppers from lower elevations settled there. (2020-12-17)

Plant diversity in Germany on the decline
In the last 60 years, plant diversity across Germany decreased by an average of 15 percent in over 70 percent of the more than 2000 species examined. This most comprehensive analysis of plant data from Germany ever conducted involved researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the universities of Jena, Halle and Rostock, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) as well as the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). (2020-12-16)

Proteins enable crop-infecting fungi to 'smell' food
New UC Riverside research shows the same proteins that enable human senses such as smell also allow certain fungi to sense something they can eat. (2020-12-15)

Two tough fungi discovered in Denmark: Devour flies from within
University of Copenhagen researchers have found and described two fungal species for the first time. The fungi infect adult flies and subsequently create a hole in the abdomen of their hosts' bodies. Infected flies then buzz around days as the fungi devour them from within and eject fungal spores from these holes in their bodies. The discovery marks a contribution to the mapping of global biodiversity. At the same time, the new studies open the door for potentially useful nature-made pharmacological discoveries. (2020-12-15)

Study shows the impact of genetic diversity on effective alligatorweed control
New research featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management (IPSM) shows that genetics matter when it comes to the effective control of alligatorweed, an invasive plant found in or near aquatic settings (2020-12-15)

Powerhouse plants that bolster the food web
Researchers have identified the most critical plants needed to sustain food webs across the United States. Their study drills down to the top plants in each county and bioregion, illuminating a plan for how to restore ecosystems anywhere in the country. (2020-12-14)

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