Current Plant Knowledge News and Events | Page 24

Current Plant Knowledge News and Events, Plant Knowledge News Articles.
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Machine learning for measuring roots
A multidisciplinary team of plant biologists and engineers has developed a software that uses machine learning to measure plant root length accurately. Root analysis is essential in academic and agricultural research. The software, named MyRoot, saves researchers both labor and time and, in the future, it could be a useful tool in agriculture. (2019-04-02)

Saffron comes from Attica -- origin of the saffron crocus traced back to Greece
Crocus sativus, a small plain purple flower with three bright red stigmas, not unlike the crocus flowers which seem omnipresent in springtime, only much more valuable. Then once they've been handpicked and dried, the stigmas of the saffron crocus are shipped off to markets across the globe, becoming the world's most expensive spice, saffron. (2019-04-02)

Nature versus nurture: Environment exerts greater influence on corn health than genetics
In one of the largest and most diverse leaf microbe studies to date, the team monitored the active bacteria on the leaves of 300 diverse lines of corn growing in a common environment. They were especially interested to see how corn genes affected bacteria and found there was little relationship between the two--in fact, the bacteria were much more affected by the environment, although genetics still had a small role. (2019-04-02)

Liver, colon cancer cells thwarted by compounds derived from hops
The plant that adds flavor, color and bitterness to beer also produces a primary compound that thwarts cancer cells, and two important derivatives of the compound do as well. (2019-04-02)

Fossil fly with an extremely long proboscis sheds light on the insect pollination origin
A long-nosed fly from the Jurassic of Central Asia, reported by Russian paleontologists, provides new evidence that insects have started serving as pollinators long before the emergence of flowering plants. Equipped with a proboscis twice the length of the body, this fly predates the first angiosperms by about 40-45 million years. This suggests that insect pollination began to evolve in association with ancient gymnosperms.The results of the study are published in Gondwana Research. (2019-04-01)

Crop yield in maize influenced by unexpected gene 'moonlighting'
Researchers identified a relationship between crop yield in the maize plant and activity of the RAMOSA3 gene. Better understanding of the mechanics in this relationship could further knowledge of plant architecture and help scientists create higher yield, drought-resistant maize crops. (2019-04-01)

McSteen lab finds a new gene essential for making ears of corn
The new research, which appears in the journal Molecular Plant, extends the growing biological understanding of how different parts of corn plants develop, which is important information for a crop that is a mainstay of the global food supply. (2019-03-29)

Harnessing plant hormones for food security in Africa
Striga is a parasitic plant that threatens the food supply of 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. Scientists have found that they can take advantage of Striga's Achilles' Heel: if it can't find a host plant, it dies. The scientists have developed a technique that has potential to reduce the impact of Striga by more than half, helping to safeguard food supplies and farmers' livelihoods. (2019-03-28)

Okinawan sea grapes reveal secrets of plant evolution
Scientists decoded the genome of the popular Okinawan seaweed 'umi-budo' or 'sea grapes,' which could help ease the crop's cultivation and address environmental issues caused by the invasive spread of related species. (2019-03-28)

What Americans know about science
There are substantial differences among Americans when it comes to knowledge and understanding of science and scientific processes. People's level of science knowledge varies by education, race, ethnicity and gender. (2019-03-28)

What 'Big Data' reveals about the diversity of species
'Big data' and large-scale analyses are critical for biodiversity research to find out how animal and plant species are distributed worldwide and how ecosystems function. The necessary data may come from many sources: museum collections, biological literature, and local databases. Researchers at the University of Göttingen have investigated how this wealth of knowledge can best be integrated so that it can be transported into the digital age and used for research. The results were published in the journal PLOS Biology. (2019-03-28)

What's in this plant? The best automated system for finding potential drugs
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan have developed a new computational mass-spectrometry system for identifying metabolomes -- entire sets of metabolites for different living organisms. When the new method was tested on select tissues from 12 plants species, it was able to note over a thousand metabolites. Among them were dozens that had never been found before, including those with antibiotic and anti-cancer potential. (2019-03-28)

Novel insights into soil biodiversity, Earth's global engine
The findings indicate changes in soil biodiversity are driven by changes in plant cover and soil acidification during ecosystem development. (2019-03-28)

Speedier stomata in optogenetically enhanced plants improve growth and conserve water
By introducing an extra ion channel into the stomata of mustard plants, researchers have developed a new a way to speed up the stomatal response in their leaves. (2019-03-28)

Wastewater reveals the levels of antibiotic resistance in a region
A comparison of seven European countries shows that the amount of antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater reflects the prevalence of clinical antibiotic resistance in the region. However, modern wastewater treatment plants seem to be able to eliminate antibiotic resistance efficiently. (2019-03-27)

Researchers advance effort to manage parasitic roundworms
Roundworms that feed on plants cause approximately $100 billion in annual global crop damage. Now researchers at the University of New Hampshire have made a patent-pending discovery that certain enzymes in roundworms, called nematodes, behave differently than the same enzymes in humans, with amino acids potentially playing a key role. (2019-03-27)

Rice cultivation: Balance of phosphorus and nitrogen determines growth and yield
Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences CEPLAS at the University of Cologne cooperates with partners from Beijing to develop new basic knowledge on nutrient signalling pathways in rice plants. This knowledge can contribute to greater food security. (2019-03-26)

Seeds inherit memories from their mother
Seeds remain in a dormant state as long as environmental conditions are not ideal for germination. The depth of this sleep is inherited from their mother. UNIGE'Researchers reveal how this maternal imprint is transmitted through fragments of 'interfering' RNAs, which inactivate genes, and that a similar mechanism enables to transmit another imprint, that of the temperatures present during the development of the seed. This mechanism allows the seed to optimize the timing of its germination. (2019-03-26)

Duckweed: The low-down on a tiny plant
An international research team led by researchers from the University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (both Germany) have found why the giant duckweed has a low genetic diversity despite its large population size: low mutation rates contribute to low genetic diversity. The results are relevant for future studies on the evolution of plants and will accelerate the use of duckweeds both for basic research and industrial applications. The study was published in ''Nature Communications''. (2019-03-26)

The sense of water -- and nitrogen: Studies uncover genome-wide responses that limit crop growth
A team of researchers has tested how each gene within the genome of rice--one of the world's most important staple crops--senses and responds to combinations of water and nutrients. (2019-03-26)

Venus flytrap 'teeth' form a 'horrid prison' for medium-sized prey
In 'Testing Darwin's Hypothesis about the Wonderful Venus Flytrap: Marginal Spikes Form a 'Horrid Prison' for Moderate-Sized Insect Prey,' Alexander L. Davis investigates the importance of marginal spikes, the 'teeth' lining the outer edge of the plant's snap traps, in successfully capturing prey. (2019-03-26)

Measurement of thoughts during knowledge acquisition
How does the brain represent our knowledge of the world? Does it have a kind of map, similar to our sense of direction? And if so, how is it organized? Stephanie Theves and Christian F. Doeller have come one step closer to demonstrating the existence of such a mental navigation system. (2019-03-25)

A varied menu
Freiburg biologists have analyzed in detail for the first time which animals are captured by the carnivorous waterwheel plant (2019-03-25)

Plant seed research provides basis for sustainable alternatives to chemical fertilizers
Scientists assessed the seed microbiomes of two successive plant generations for the first time and discovered that seeds are an important vector for transmission of beneficial endophytes across generations. (2019-03-25)

New paper on the phylogeny of the Brassicaceae
A recent study from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, published in the New Phytologist, helps resolve these issues by reporting new insights into the relationships among Brassicaceae species (2019-03-25)

Wagers winter plants make to survive
In a recently published study, UA ecologists have identified the bets that the most successful annual plants place with water resources. (2019-03-25)

Caterpillars retrieve 'voicemail' by eating soil
Leaf-feeding caterpillars greatly enrich their intestinal flora by eating soil. It's even possible to trace the legacy effects of plants that previously grew in that soil through bacteria and fungi in the caterpillars. Researchers of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) have just published these findings in the journal Nature Communications. They are of interest not just to scientists, but also to plant growers and farmers. (2019-03-22)

Revealing the plant genes that shaped our world
The creation of new library of mutants of the single-celled photosynthetic green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii enabled a Carnegie- and Princeton University-led team of plant scientists to identify more than 300 genes that are potentially required for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, algae, and some bacteria convert energy from sunlight into carbohydrates -- filling our planet's atmosphere with oxygen as a byproduct. (2019-03-21)

Breakthrough in fight against plant diseases
A global research team including scientists from La Trobe University have identified specific locations within plants' chromosomes capable of transferring immunity to their offspring. (2019-03-20)

Many pet owners keen to have vegan pets, University of Guelph study finds
A growing number of pet owners is interested in feeding their pets plant-based diets. (2019-03-19)

Woolly stars need catastrophes to live
The endangered Santa Ana Woolly Star depends on catastrophic floods. Thanks to a huge dam, natural floods are now nonexistent in its home turf. Researchers use different soil treatments mimicking flood effects in its preferred habitat, exploring the effectiveness of each towards plant survival. (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)

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)

Researchers look to nature to unearth the secrets of cyclic imine cleavage
University of Tsukuba researchers have shown that enzymes can degrade cyclic imines. By isolating an enzyme able to degrade harmaline -- a β-carboline alkaloid -- from a soil microorganism, they identified the enzyme as copper amine oxidase and suggested a two-step mechanism for the process. It is hoped that the general applicability of the mechanism that was demonstrated will make this fundamental finding useful for future drug discovery. (2019-03-07)

'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)

The evolution of grain yield
A high grain yield is undoubtedly a desirable trait in cereal crops. Floret fertility is a key factor which determines the number of grains per inflorescence of cereals such as bread wheat or barley. Nonetheless, until recently little was known about its genetic basis. Whilst investigating floret fertility, a group of researchers from Japan, Germany and Israel have now discovered the locus Grain Number Increase 1 (GNI1), an important contributor to floret fertility. (2019-03-06)

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)

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