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Current Plants News and Events, Plants News Articles.
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Earth's terrestrial ecosystems may transition from carbon sinks to carbon sources within decades
Rising temperatures could trigger Earth's terrestrial ecosystems to transition from carbon sinks to carbon sources in the next 20 to 30 years, according to data from the world's largest continuous carbon monitoring network. The researchers suggest that up to half of land ecosystems could reach this tipping point - when plants begin to release carbon into the atmosphere. (2021-01-13)

Chloroplasts on the move
How different plants can share their genetic material with each other (2021-01-11)

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)

Researchers find nonnative species in Oahu play greater role in seed dispersal
Oahu's ecosystems have been so affected by species extinctions and invasions that most of the seeds dispersed on the island belong to nonnative plants, and most of them are dispersed by nonnative birds. (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)

It's getting hot in here: Warming world will fry power plant production in coming years
During the year's hottest months, many people rely on electricity-generated cooling systems to remain comfortable. But the power plants that keep air conditioners pushing out cold air could soon be in a vicious cycle in a warming world-not able to keep up with growing demands on hotter days and driving up greenhouse gas emissions to dangerous levels. (2021-01-06)

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)

In plants, channels set the rhythm
Like animals, plants have 'molecular switches' on the surface of their cells that transduce a mechanical signal into an electrical one in milliseconds. In animals, sound vibrations activate 'molecular switches' located in the ear. French scientists have found that in plants, rapid oscillations of stems and leaves due to wind may activate these 'switches' very effectively. They could allow plants to 'listen' to the wind. (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)

RUDN University scientist showed global warming effect on greenhouse gas emissions in paddy soils
A soil scientist from RUDN University studied the decomposition of organic matter in rice paddies--the sources of CO2 and methane emissions. Both gases add to the greenhouse effect and affect climate warming in subtropical regions. The emissions increase when the roots of plants influence microbial communities in the soil. This influence, in turn, depends on temperature changes. Therefore, climate warming can lead to more greenhouse gas emissions. (2020-12-24)

Newly discovered receptor helps to sneak a peek at evolution
Certain proteins call for unusual ways to get incorporated into membranes, because the signal sequence required for this process is located at their rear end instead of at the front. The relevant mechanism and its components are well-known and well-studied in yeast and mammals. Scientists have already hypothesised that it also occurs in plants, but there was no evidence of an indispensable receptor, until now. (2020-12-22)

Light signal emitted during photosynthesis used to quickly screen crops
University of Illinois researchers have revealed a new approach to estimate the photosynthetic capacity of crops to pinpoint their top-performing traits and speed up the plant screening process, according to a new study in the Journal of Experimental Botany(2020-12-21)

Water limitations in the tropics offset carbon uptake from arctic greening
More plants and longer growing seasons in the northern latitudes have converted parts of Alaska, Canada and Siberia to deeper shades of green. Some studies translate this Arctic greening to a greater global carbon uptake. But new research shows that as Earth's climate is changing, increased carbon absorption by plants in the Arctic is being offset by a corresponding decline in the tropics. (2020-12-18)

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)

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)

Engineers develop soft robotic gripper
Scientists often look to nature for cues when designing robots - some robots mimic human hands while others simulate the actions of octopus arms or inchworms. Now, researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering have designed a new soft robotic gripper that draws inspiration from an unusual source: pole beans. (2020-12-15)

Evapotranspiration in an arid environment
Evapotranspiration is an important process in the water cycle because it is responsible for 15% of the atmosphere's water vapor. Without that input of water vapor, clouds could not form, and precipitation would never fall. It is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces and by transpiration from plants. (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)

America's crop cousins are numerous, imperiled, and more needed than ever
A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for the first time outlines how poorly protected these plants are: More than half of the 600 plants assessed in the study may be endangered in their natural habitats, while only 7% are well represented in conservation repositories such as public gene banks and botanical gardens. (2020-12-14)

UMaine-led research group find that trees are out of equilibrium with climate
A University of Maine-led research team studied the current ranges of hundreds of North American trees and shrubs to assess the degree to which species are growing in all of the places that are climatically suitable. Researchers found evidence of widespread 'underfilling' of these potential climatic habitats -- only 50% on average -- which could mean that trees already have disadvantage as the world continues to warm. (2020-12-14)

Male weeds may hold key to their own demise
Scientists are getting closer to finding the genes for maleness in waterhemp and Palmer amaranth, two of the most troublesome agricultural weeds in the US. Finding the genes could enable new 'genetic control' methods for the weeds, which, in many places, no longer respond to herbicides. (2020-12-11)

The greening of the earth is approaching its limit
Vegetation has a key role in mitigating climate change because it reduces the excess CO2 that we humans emit into the atmosphere. Just as when sportsmen and women are doped with oxygen, plants also benefit from the large amounts of CO2 that accumulate in the atmosphere. If more CO2 is available, they photosynthesize and grow more, which is called the fertilizing effect of CO2. (2020-12-10)

Microbes and plants: A dynamic duo
The unique partnership between root-dwelling microbes and the plants they inhabit can reduce drought stress. (2020-12-09)

Caterpillars mimic leaves or offer rewards for protection by ants
Study reveals different forms of interaction between insect groups: while some caterpillar species have bodies covered with molecules identical to those of the plants they inhabit and are 'invisible' to ants, others offer ants nectar in exchange for protection from predators (2020-12-09)

Science paper links root endodermis and microbiota in mineral balance
Valéria Custódio, ITQB NOVA PhD Student and GREEN-IT member, is a co-author of the paper, which offers new insight on the importance of the relationship between microbiota and root endodermis. (2020-12-09)

SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater solids could help monitor COVID-19 spread
Scientists have analyzed compounds in wastewater to gauge various aspects of public health, including narcotics usage, antibiotic resistance, and, more recently, the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology have discovered that measuring SARS-CoV-2 in settled solids from sewage treatment plants could be a more sensitive approach than measuring the virus in wastewater flowing into the facilities. (2020-12-07)

'Big data' enables first census of desert shrub
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin leveraged computer algorithms and high-resolution survey data to conduct the first-ever creosote census - counting every creosote in a 135-square-mile conservation site in Nevada's Mojave Desert. The researchers discovered important new information about the plant species, but they also demonstrate how data techniques can improve on conventional methods for studying plant communities. (2020-12-07)

Dynamic plants
Led by University of Pennsylvania prof Brian Gregory and postdoc Xiang Yu, researchers have uncovered one way plants respond to hormonal cues. A similar process is likely at play in mammals. (2020-12-07)

Measurements of tree height can help cycad conservation decisions
A multi-national research team has exploited long-term data sets that span 2001 to 2018 to reveal the utility of tree height quantifications in informing conservation decisions of an arborescent cycad species. The field work was led by the University of Guam and targeted Cycas micronesica from the Micronesian Islands of Guam, Tinian, and Yap as the model species. (2020-12-07)

Shuttering fossil fuel power plants may cost less than expected
Decarbonizing US electricity production will require both construction of renewable energy sources and retirement of power plants now operated by fossil fuels. A generator-level model described in the December 4, 2020 issue of the journal Science suggests that most fossil fuel power plants could complete normal lifespans and still close by 2035 because so many facilities are nearing the end of their operational lives. (2020-12-03)

New theory of root competition reveals rules governing growth
In the presence of competitors, plants overproduce roots to snatch up nearby resources but avoid foraging for nutrients near their neighbors, according to a new study, which provides a new theoretical foundation for understanding the rules that govern competitive root behavior. (2020-12-03)

How plants compete for underground real estate affects climate change and food production
How do plant roots store carbon? Princeton researchers found that the energy a plant devotes to its roots depends on proximity to other plants: when close together, plants heavily invest in their root systems to compete for finite underground resources; if far apart, they invest less. As about a third of the world's vegetation biomass (and carbon) is belowground, this model provides a valuable tool to predict root proliferation in global earth-system models. (2020-12-03)

Researchers discover how bean plants fend off famished foes
A team led by scientists at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego has discovered that cowpeas -- a type of bean plant -- harbor receptors on the surface of their cells that can detect a compound in caterpillar saliva and initiate anti-herbivore defenses. (2020-12-03)

Peeking into the pods of black soybeans
Nagoya University scientists have furthered understanding of how plants make a common pigment that might have medicinal applications. (2020-12-02)

Tweaking carotenoid genes helps tomatoes bring their a-game
Researchers led by the University of Tsukuba demonstrated that Target-AID gene editing technology can be used to simultaneously introduce single-base changes into multiple genes in tomatoes. Using this technique, the researchers altered three genes associated with carotenoid accumulation, resulting in elevated levels of carotenoids, particularly lycopene, in the resulting tomato lines. This technology will allow tomato breeders to introduce multiple advantageous gene changes into elite commercial cultivars, bypassing lengthy back-crossing steps between generations. (2020-12-01)

Chemical memory in plants affects chances of offspring survival
Researchers at the University of Warwick have uncovered the mechanism that allows plants to pass on their 'memories' to offspring, which results in growth and developmental defects. (2020-12-01)

Plants on aspirin
For centuries humans were using willow barks to treat a headache or an inflamed tooth. Later, the active ingredient, the plant hormone salicylic acid, was used to develop painkillers like Aspirin. But what happens, if plants are treated with these painkillers? By doing so, Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria discovered an unexpected bioactivity of human pharmaceuticals in plants. The scientists published their study in the journal Cell Reports. (2020-12-01)

Scientists uncover the mysterious origin of canal grass in Panama
How did canal grass arrive in Panama? STRI staff scientist Kristin Saltonstall compared the DNA of sugar cane relatives from around the world to find out. (2020-11-30)

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