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Current Plant Species News and Events, Plant Species News Articles.
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Scientists propose three-step method to reverse significant reforestation side effect
Reforestation efforts using a monoculture of a fast-growing tree species, while effective, significantly impact the soil water content of humid, tropical regions and threatens global freshwater supplies. Scientists have now found that the transpiration rate and transpiration-related trait values are up to 10 times greater in the fast-growing species than nearby, dominant slow-growing species. The team has proposed a three-step method for ensuring reforestation efforts in tropical regions don't harm the surrounding soil water content. (2021-02-10)

Cataloguing genetic information about yams
New collection of resources will help yam breeders and farmers. (2021-02-10)

Research reveals why plant diversity is so important for bee diversity
A study in southern England reveals why bumble bees and honey bees thrive despite foraging on the same flowers. (2021-02-10)

Novel analytical tools developed by SMART key to next-generation agriculture
Researchers from Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) assess two emerging species-independent analytical tools, Plant nanosensors and Raman spectroscopy, that have enabled new research opportunities in plant science. The paper also evaluates the future development and economic potential of the tools and discusses strategies for their successful integration in both traditional and urban agriculture. Rapidly deployable and non-destructive, the tools provide a wealth of advantages over existing technologies. (2021-02-10)

Plant-based diet and bone health: adequate calcium and vitamin D intakes should be ensured
In a study conducted at the University of Helsinki, partial replacement of animal protein with plant protein in the diet altered bone metabolism and decreased calcium and vitamin D intakes. (2021-02-10)

Plant-based magnetic nanoparticles with antifungal properties
A team of researchers from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University obtained magnetic nanoparticles using sweet flag (Acorus calamus). Both the roots and the leaves of this plant have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and insecticide properties. (2021-02-10)

Sawfish face global extinction unless overfishing is curbed
Sawfish have disappeared from half of the world's coastal waters and the distinctive shark-like rays face complete extinction due to overfishing, according to a new study by Simon Fraser University researchers, published in Science Advances. (2021-02-10)

Infectious disease causes long-term changes to frog's microbiome
In a rare study published this week, Andrea Jani, a researcher with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, determined the skin microbiome of an endangered frog was altered when the frogs were infected by a specific fungus, and it didn't recover to its initial state even when the frog was cured of the infection. (2021-02-10)

Ecological interactions as a driver of evolution
In a recent study, an international team of researchers including TUD botanist Prof. Stefan Wanke has investigated the origin of the mega-diversity of herbivorous insects. These account for a quarter of terrestrial diversity. The results of the study were recently published in the international journal Nature Communications. There the scientists show that the evolutionary success of insects may be linked to recurrent changes in host plants. (2021-02-09)

Richness of plant species reduces the number of viral infections in meadows
A new study indicates that agricultural activity confuses the mechanisms that regulate the occurrence of plant diseases in nature. A wider variety of virus species was found in meadows close to agricultural fields compared to those located in natural surroundings, with the richness of plant species having no effect on the number of virus species. However, maintaining biodiversity is worthwhile, as plant richness did reduce the number of viral infections in the meadows. (2021-02-08)

Man-made borders threaten wildlife as climate changes
Walls and fences designed to secure national borders could make it difficult for almost 700 mammal species to adapt to climate change, according to new research. (2021-02-08)

All in the head? Brains adapt to support new species
Scientists studying forest dwelling butterflies in Central and South America have discovered that changes in the way animals perceive and process information from their environment can support the emergence of new species. The study led by the University of Bristol, and published today [9 February] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has implications for how new species might evolve and the underappreciated role of changes in the brain. (2021-02-08)

SSRgenotyper: A new tool to digitally genotype simple sequence repeats
Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are common components of genomic DNA that are widely used in genetic studies at the level of populations and individuals. However, the process of genotyping SSRs -- determining which individuals have which alleles -- still relies on time-consuming and potentially hazardous lab-based methods. SSRgenotyper is a new software tool that automates the process of genotyping entirely from sequenced reads and generates multiple file types for further downstream analysis. (2021-02-05)

Climate change may have driven the emergence of SARS-CoV-2
Global greenhouse gas emissions over the last century have made southern China a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses, by driving growth of forest habitat favoured by bats. (2021-02-05)

Birds living in natural habits can help inform captive care
Bird species that live in their natural habitats can help zoos learn how to manage those in captivity, according to a new review. (2021-02-05)

Pangolin coronavirus could jump to humans
Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute have found important structural similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and a pangolin coronavirus. (2021-02-05)

Ultimately, beneficial fungi could be more effective than pesticides against nematodes
Over the past 30 years, the use of soil fumigants and nematicides used to protect cole crops, such as broccoli and Brussel sprouts, against cyst nematode pathogens in coastal California fields has decreased dramatically. A survey of field samples in 2016 indicated the nematode population has also decreased, suggesting the existence of a natural cyst nematode controlling process in these fields. (2021-02-04)

Even in same desert location, species experience differences in exposure to climate warming
Despite living in the same part of the Mojave Desert, and experiencing similar conditions, mammals and birds native to this region experienced fundamentally different exposures to climate warming over the last 100 years, a new study shows; small mammal communities there remained much more stable than birds, in the face of local climate change, it reports. (2021-02-04)

In symbiosis: Plants control the genetics of microbes
Researchers from the University of Ottawa have discovered that plants may be able to control the genetics of their intimate root symbionts - the organism with which they live in symbiosis - thereby providing a better understanding of their growth. In addition to having a significant impact on all terrestrial ecosystems, their discovery may lead to improved eco-friendly agricultural applications. (2021-02-04)

Thoughts on plant genomes
The growing world population and the challenges posed by climate change make the control of these natural resources one of the most crucial issues for all humanity in the future. In this regard, genome sequence information is of fundamental importance for understanding natural diversity and evolution of living organisms as well as for the design of breeding strategies aimed to produce new varieties with suitable traits. (2021-02-03)

Some food contamination starts in the soil
Rice husk residue can prevent uptake of harmful elements in rice. (2021-02-03)

Flower diversity may mitigate insecticide effects on wild bees
A higher diversity of flowering plants increases the breeding success of wild bees and may help compensate for the negative effects of insecticides. This is what researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Hohenheim, as well as the Julius Kühn Institute, have found in a large-scale experimental study. The results have been published in the scientific journal Ecology Letters. (2021-02-03)

A deadly fungus is killing frogs, but the bacteria on their skin could protect them
Researchers in Costa Rica have found that some bacteria on the skin of amphibians prevent growth of the fungus responsible for what has been dubbed 'the amphibian apocalypse'. (2021-02-03)

Research findings can help to increase population size of endangered species
The findings of a new study examining the behaviours of alligator and caiman hatchlings have enhanced our understanding of how we can conserve, and increase, the population of endangered crocodilian species. (2021-02-03)

Biodiversity is its own catalyst -- to a point
For decades, scientists have wrestled with rival theories to explain how interactions between species, like competition, influence biodiversity. Tracking microbial life across the planet, researchers from McGill University show that biodiversity does in fact foster further diversity in microbiomes that are initially less diverse. However, diversity rates plateau with increased competition for survival and space in more diverse microbiomes. (2021-02-03)

Fungus that eats fungus could help coffee farmers
Coffee rust is a parasitic fungus and a big problem for coffee growers around the world. A study in the birthplace of coffee - Ethiopia - shows that another fungus seems to have the capacity to supress the rust outbreaks in this landscape. (2021-02-03)

Kangaroo overgrazing could be jeopardising land conservation, study finds
The native species has reached numbers that are contributing to drier soil and less vegetation - and may be more damaging to conservation areas than rabbits. (2021-02-03)

Curtin study finds native bees under threat from growing urbanization
Residential gardens are a poor substitute for native bushland and increasing urbanisation is a growing threat when it comes to bees, Curtin University research has found. Published in 'Urban Ecosystems', the research looked at bee visits to flowers, which form pollination networks across different native bushland and home garden habitats. (2021-02-02)

Soldiers, snakes and marathon runners in the hidden world of fungi
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have discovered the individual traits of fungi, and how their hyphae - that is, the fungal threads that grow in soil - behave very differently as they navigate through the earth's microscopic labyrinths. (2021-02-02)

How plants stabilize their water pipes
New techniques allow live-observation of forming cell walls in the vascular tissue (2021-02-02)

Venus flytraps found to produce magnetic fields
The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a carnivorous plant that encloses its prey using modified leaves as a trap. During this process, electrical signals known as action potentials trigger the closure of the leaf lobes. An interdisciplinary team of scientists has now shown that these electrical signals generate measurable magnetic fields. (2021-02-02)

Study challenges ecology's 'Field of Dreams' hypothesis
A new study challenges the ''Field of Dreams'' hypothesis in restoration ecology, which predicts that restoring plant biodiversity will lead to recovery of animal biodiversity. The study of restored tallgrass prairie found the effects of management strategies (specifically controlled burns and bison reintroduction) on animal communities were six times stronger on average than the effects of plant biodiversity. (2021-02-02)

Pollinator host-switches and fig hybridization dominate fig-wasp coevolution
Together with colleagues from 11 institutions from home and abroad, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have recently shown that the fig hybridization mediated by pollinator host-switching in the obligate fig-wasp pollination system is more common than previously thought. (2021-02-02)

Research catches up to world's fastest-growing plant
Wolffia, also known as duckweed, is the fastest-growing plant known, but the genetics underlying this strange little plant's success have long been a mystery to scientists. A multi-investigator effort led by scientists from the Salk Institute is reporting new findings about the plant's genome that explain how it's able to grow so fast. (2021-02-01)

Newly discovered trait helps plants grow deeper roots in dry, compacted soils
A previously unknown root trait allows some cereal plants to grow deeper roots capable of punching through dry, hard, compacted soils, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest that harnessing the inherited characteristic could lead to crops better able to deal with a changing climate. (2021-02-01)

Arctic shrubs add new piece to ecological puzzle
A 15-year experiment on Arctic shrubs in Greenland lends new understanding to an enduring ecological puzzle: How do species with similar needs and life histories occur together at large scales while excluding each other at small scales? Its findings also reveal trends related to carbon sequestration and climate change as the Arctic becomes both greener and browner. (2021-02-01)

Alpine plants at risk of extinction following disappearing glaciers
Nearly a quarter of Italian alpine plant species are threatened by glacier retreat, according to a new study from Stanford University. Glaciers around the world are predicted to disappear within the next decade and the consequences for the plants, animals and societies surrounding them are still uncertain. By combining historical records, current surveys and computational models, the researchers' findings may help guide conservation efforts. (2021-01-29)

Scientists look to soils to learn how forests affect air quality, climate change
Two studies shed light on the complex relationships between tree types, forest soil nutrients and microbes, and their effect of affect air quality and climate change. (2021-01-29)

Wood formation can now be followed in real-time -- and possibly serve the climate of tomorrow
A genetic engineering method makes it possible to observe how woody cell walls are built in plants. The new research in wood formation, conducted by the University of Copenhagen and others, opens up the possibility of developing sturdier construction materials and perhaps more climate efficient trees. (2021-01-28)

'You say tomato, I say genomics': Genome sequences for two wild tomato ancestors
A research team led by University of Tsukuba has produced genome sequences for two wild species of tomato from South America, ancestors of the cultivated tomato. The ancestral species contain thousands of genes that are not present in modern types. The novel genes will help plant breeders produce new tomatoes with features like improved disease resistance, increased tolerance for the changing climate, and improved flavor and shelf-life. (2021-01-27)

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