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Scientists show how plants turn a 'light switch' on and off
In research published today in Science, an international team of researchers led by scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China, and the University of California, Los Angeles, have uncovered the mechanisms through which cryptochrome 2 -- a key photoreceptor that allows plants to respond to blue light -- is switched on and off, allowing plants to remain responsive to light. (2016-10-20)
Turning biofuel waste into wealth in a single step
Lignin is a bulky chain of molecules found in wood and is usually discarded during biofuel production. (2016-10-20)
Tobacco plants engineered to manufacture high yields of malaria drug
In 2015, a Nobel Prize was awarded in part for the discovery of artemisinin, a plant-derived compound that's proven to be a lifesaver in treating malaria. (2016-10-20)
How plants make friends with fungi
Many fungi damage or even kill plants. But there are also plant-friendly fungi: Most land plants live in close community with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AM fungi) that stimulate their growth. (2016-10-19)
Rockcress as heavy-metal hoover
Rockcress of the Arabidopsis halleri species is known to possess the capability of settling on hostile, heavy metal-contaminated soil. (2016-10-19)
Finding ideal materials for carbon capture
Genetic algorithm can rapidly pinpoint top candidates for pre-combustion carbon capture, information that could lead to greener designs for newly commissioned power plants. (2016-10-17)
Plants actively direct their seeds via wind or water towards suitable sites
Plants cannot move to find new places to live in, but they can actively direct their seeds to new suitable places for plant development. (2016-10-17)
Plant discovered that neither photosynthesizes nor blooms
Project Associate Professor Kenji Suetsugu has discovered a new species of plant on the subtropical Japanese island of Kuroshima (located off the southern coast of Kyushu in Kagoshima prefecture) and named it Gastrodia kuroshimensis. (2016-10-14)
Research to help develop next-generation food crops
Research led by The Australian National University is helping to develop food crops with bigger yields and greater ability to cope with drought compared with today's plants. (2016-10-14)
With designer lignin, biofuels researchers reproduced evolutionary path
When scientists reported in 2014 that they had successfully engineered a poplar plant 'designed for deconstruction,' the finding made international news. (2016-10-14)
Ornamental plants for conserving bees, beneficial insects
A new study provides a detailed and systematic assessment of pollinators and biological predators on plant species. (2016-10-13)
How shoot removal, rootstock cultivar affect grafting tomatoes
High tunnel and open-field trials were conducted to investigate potential yield effects related to the use of two rootstocks and scion shoot removal during tomato grafting. (2016-10-13)
Antifungal RNA spray could help fight barley crop disease
Spraying barley crops with RNA molecules that inhibit fungus growth could help protect the plants against disease, according to a new study published in PLOS Pathogens. (2016-10-13)
Diversity as natural pesticide
Monoculture crops provide the nutrient levels insect pests crave, explains a study led by the University of California, Davis, in the journal Nature. Returning plant diversity to farmland could be a key step toward sustainable pest control. (2016-10-12)
Understanding how plants withstand harsh conditions remains major research challenge
Understanding how plants sense and cope with harsh conditions such as drought, too much salt in the soil or extreme temperatures could help researchers develop tougher crops -- an essential step to improving agricultural productivity, environmental sustainability and global food security. (2016-10-12)
Plant diversity could provide natural repellent for crop pests
A new study has unveiled why a field with a variety of plants seems to attract fewer plant-eating insects than farm land with just one type of crop. (2016-10-12)
Soybean nitrogen breakthrough could help feed the world
Washington State University biologist Mechthild Tegeder has developed a way to dramatically increase the yield and quality of soybeans. (2016-10-12)
Kent State professor studies how selfish genes cause male sterility in flowering plants
Why are plants often sterile when their parents are from different species? (2016-10-11)
KU researcher points finger at inaccuracy in most biology textbooks
A who's who of experts on fern biology concludes the 'breeding system of ferns has been inaccurately presented in most biology textbooks at all levels of education.' (2016-10-11)
'Snotty gobble' could be good weed controller
A native parasitic plant found commonly throughout southeastern Australia, is showing great promise as a potential biological control agent against introduced weeds that cost millions of dollars every year to control. (2016-10-10)
Restoring sand dunes, one microbe at a time
Restoring sand dunes isn't as simple as dredging sand from the ocean floor and plopping it onshore. (2016-10-10)
Grafting increases Chilean-grown watermelon yield, quality
Experiments evaluated the benefits of grafting watermelon under Chilean conditions. (2016-10-10)
How plants grow new lateral roots
Researchers have used 3-D live imaging to observe the formation process of lateral roots in plants, and clarified part of the mechanism that creates new meristematic tissue. (2016-10-06)
This flower smells like a bee under attack
A new discovery takes plants' deception of their pollinators to a whole new level. (2016-10-06)
Certain citrus species produce repellent against huanglongbing
A new strategy for combating the vector of the bacterium that causes huanglongbing, also known as greening, considered the most destructive citrus disease in the world can be developed from the discovery that three citrus plants produce an essential oil that repels the insect. (2016-10-05)
Potatoes and biochar are not friends
Studies have shown that adding biochar to soil can improve soil fertility, increase nutrient utilization in plants, improve soil water-holding capacity, increase crop yield and reduce emission of greenhouse gases. (2016-10-04)
Overlooked plants defy drought
Plants could be persuaded to raise the threshold at which they start to shut down. (2016-10-04)
Fungi can lend a helping hand to potatoes
Water and phosphorous are limited resources, so agriculture needs to use them economically. (2016-10-04)
New mechanisms uncovered explaining frost tolerance in plants
Plants cannot simply relocate to better surroundings when their environmental conditions are no longer suitable. (2016-10-04)
Ancestor rice of Suriname Maroons traced back to its African origin
A team of researchers shows that Suriname black rice is similar to a specific type of black rice that derived from the fields of Mande-speaking farmers in Western Ivory Coast. (2016-10-03)
Researchers explore possibilities of growing plants on Mars
Even as the recent focus has been on how we will get to Mars, scientists at Florida Institute of Technology are working on what we will eat once we arrive. (2016-10-03)
Microbes help plants survive in severe drought
Plants can better tolerate drought and other stressors with the help of natural microbes, University of Washington research has found. (2016-10-03)
Hippo teeth reveal environmental change
Loss of megaherbivores such as elephants and hippos can allow woody plants and non-grassy herbs and flowering plants to encroach on grasslands in African national parks, according to a new University of Utah study, published Sept. (2016-09-12)
Voracious Asian jumping worms strip forest floor and flood soil with nutrients
New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that Asian jumping worms, an invasive species first found in Wisconsin in 2013, may do their work too well, speeding up the exit of nutrients from the soil before plants can process them. (2016-09-08)
Tracing the path of pygmies' shared knowledge of medicinal plants
When members of the BaYaka Pygmies living in the northern Republic of Congo get sick, they don't just go to the doctor for a prescription. (2016-09-08)
Refrigerator us warm?
A discovery made at RUDN University allows to substantially increase the production of high-quality planting material of horticultural crops. (2016-09-06)
During drought, dry air can stress plants more than dry soil
Newly published research finds that low relative humidity in the atmosphere is a significant, growing and often under-appreciated cause of plant stress in hot, dry weather conditions. (2016-09-05)
Browsing antelope turned ancient African forests into grassy savanna ecosystems
By comparing the timing of the evolution of thorns on about 2,000 woody tree species in southern Africa and the time that antelopes arrived in Africa, a group of scientists found that trees like African acacias evolved thorns as a defense mechanism at exactly the same time that antelope arrived in Africa. (2016-09-05)
Study: Future drought will offset benefits of higher CO2 on soybean yields
An eight-year study of soybeans grown outdoors in a carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere like that expected by 2050 has yielded a new and worrisome finding: Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations will boost plant growth under ideal growing conditions, but drought -- expected to worsen as the climate warms and rainfall patterns change -- will outweigh those benefits and cause yield losses much sooner than anticipated. (2016-09-05)
Defend or grow? These plants do both
From natural ecosystems to farmers' fields, plants face a dilemma of energy use: outgrow and outcompete their neighbors for light, or defend themselves against insects and disease. (2016-08-30)
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