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Grazer diversity counteracts plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning in seagrass beds
In a seagrass system, increasing grazer diversity reduced both algal biomass and total community diversity, and facilitated dominance of a grazing-resistant invertebrate. In parallel with previous plant results, however, grazer diversity enhanced grazer biomass production, an important determinant of fish yield in aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, ecosystem responses at high grazer diversity often differed considerably from those predicted by summing impacts of individual species. (2003-07-02)

Mother knows best: Plant knowledge key to childhood health in remote Amazon
In a remote area of the Amazon, globalization is threatening the time-honored transmission of plant knowledge from generation to generation, with adverse effects on childhood health and nutrition. In a novel study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report that parents, and especially mothers, who know more about plants and how to use them, have healthier children, independent of other factors such as education, market participation or acculturation. (2007-03-22)

Catastrophic shift in species diversity and productivity of an ecosystem
Ecology and environmental management is predicated on ecosystems responding to environmental changes in a smooth and straightforward way. However, in Ecology Letters, May, Schmitz reports on a long-term field experiment that prompting a critical look at this view. The study provides a cautionary tale that ecosystem management which alters predator abundances even slightly may cause dramatic and irreversible shifts in the productivity and diversity of ecosystems. (2004-05-04)

Anarchistic proteins could hide secret to develop crops with high stress resistance
Some proteins behave rather anarchistic. Unraveling their unusual behavior might hold the secret to develop crops with a higher tolerance to stress. A group of researchers at the University of Copenhagen will unveil the mysteries of these disordered proteins thanks to a 7 million kr grant from the Villum Foundation Young Investigator Program. (2016-02-08)

Research highlights the importance of 'self-DNA' for maintaining diversity among species
In natural plant communities, diversity is maintained by limits set on each plant by itself. This involves a detrimental effect of self-DNA -- DNA from the same species released during decomposition -- on the plant's and its offspring's growth. New research finds that this process not only regulates plant populations but may also be generalized to a range of additional organisms including algae, protozoa, fungi, and animals. (2015-04-20)

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)

Scientists suggest way to predict the behavior of invasive weeds
Is it possible to predict which nonnative plant species will become invasive weeds and when? According to research featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management, the answer is 'hopefully yes.' And those predictions can lead to more effective and cost-efficient weed management. (2018-01-23)

Hijacking hormones for plant growth
Hormones designed in the lab through a technique combining chemistry, biology, and engineering might be used to manipulate plant growth in numerous ways, according to a New Phytologist study. (2018-08-08)

MU researcher leads new $6.6 million study that could lead to better corn plants
A University of Missouri researcher has received a $6.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to lead a research team to study the genes that control the movement of carbohydrates in corn. This research may lead to increased yield, more drought resistant plants, larger plants and easier production of biofuels. (2011-03-14)

Combating infection of crops by nematodes is soon to improve
Scientists from Ghent University and VIB have succeeded in showing how nematodes are able to manipulate the transport of the plant hormone auxin in order to force the plant to produce food for them. This advancement in knowledge about this process opens new possibilities for the development of nematode-resistant plants. (2009-01-15)

New Phytopathology journal focus issue emphasizes virological advances
Given the importance of and rapid research progress in plant virology in recent years, Phytopathology emphasized virological advances in its Fundamental Aspects of Plant Viruses focus issue, which is available now. (2020-01-08)

A detailed map of North and South America's plant diversity
A team of researchers has complied a comprehensive list of all known plants that take root throughout North and South America, shedding light on plant diversity and patterns across the two continents. (2017-12-21)

An antibiotic masquerading as a natural compound in the Giant Madeiran Squill
A previous study has shown that a type of squill growing in Madeira produces a chemical compound that may be useful as a medicinal drug. But a new study from researchers at Uppsala University has shown that this is probably not true: instead, the plant had likely accumulated antibiotics from contaminated soil. (2020-04-03)

German researchers compile world's largest inventory of known plant species
Researchers at Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) have compiled the world's most comprehensive list of known plant species. It contains 1,315,562 names of vascular plants, thus extending the number by some 70,000 - equivalent to about 20%. The researchers have also succeeded in clarifying 181,000 hitherto unclear species names. The data set has now been published in Scientific Data. This marks the culmination of ten years of intensive research work. (2020-11-26)

Cycad leaf physiology research needed
What pertains to conifers does not necessarily translate to cycads. (2017-07-31)

SLU scientists have identified the first gene regulating programmed cell death in plant embryos
A research team at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, has succeeded in isolating a novel gene that regulates cell death in plant embryos. This is a world first. (2004-06-02)

Nodulation connected to higher resistance against powdery mildew in legumes
Scientists have long known that nodulation is important to plant health. Nodulation occurs when nodules, which form on the roots of plants (primarily legumes), form a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria that deliver nutrients to the plant. This process is a key part of sustainable agriculture and makes legumes an important source of protein for much of the world. However, recent research shows that nodulation might positively impact the plant's microbiome in other ways. (2019-10-07)

Protecting the future: How plant stem cells guard against genetic damage
Scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, have shown how plants can protect themselves against genetic damage caused by environmental stresses. The growing tips of plant roots and shoots have an in-built mechanism that, if it detects damage to the DNA, causes the cell to (2009-11-16)

Long-term consequences difficult to predict
In a longitudinal study, an international research team led by Leipzig University has investigated the consequences of changes in plant biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems. The scientists found that the relationships between plant traits and ecosystem functions change from year to year. This makes predicting the long-term consequences of biodiversity change extremely difficult, they write in ''Nature Ecology & Evolution''. (2020-10-07)

Combining genomics with farmers' traditional knowledge to improve wheat production
Producing better crops to meet the needs of the growing world's population may lie in combining the traditional knowledge of subsistence farmers with plant genomics. Researchers in Italy and Ethiopia demonstrated that the indigenous knowledge of traditional farmers, passed on from one generation to generation, can be measured in a quantitative way and used with advanced genomic and statistical methods to identify genes responsible for farmers' preference of wheat. (2017-07-17)

Comprehensive field guide to New England wild flowers is published by Timber Press
'Wildflowers of New England' is the first comprehensive, up to date wildflower guide focused entirely on New England. This easy-to-use, portable guide describes more than 1,000 species of wildflowers and small shrubs with color photos. The book is an invaluable resource for hikers, naturalists, gardeners, scientists, teachers, students and anyone wishing to learn more about the region's diverse wildflowers, or just wanting to know the answer to 'What's that plant?' (2016-03-07)

A new species of bamboo-feeding plant lice found in Costa Rica
Several periods of field work during 2008 have led to the discovery of a new species of bamboo-feeding plant lice in Costa Rica's high-altitude region Cerro de la Muerte. The discovery was made thanks to molecular data analysis of mitochondrial DNA. The collected records have also increased the overall knowledge of plant lice (one of the most dangerous agricultural pests worldwide) from the region with more that 20 percent. The study was published in the open-access journal ZooKeys. (2012-02-06)

Long-sought flower-inducing molecule found
Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), report about a breakthrough in our understanding of how plants control their flowering. In an article in Science, Thursday 11th they show how a small molecule that is formed in the plant leaves is transported to the shoot tips where it induces the formation of flowers. This new knowledge can lead to the development of tools for control of the timing of plant flowering in agriculture and forestry. (2005-08-11)

Plant pathologists look to forensics to aid in biosecurity
In an effort to protect the nation's crops from possible bioterrorism, plant pathologists are exploring how to apply techniques typically used in crime labs as a tool to fight bioterrorism. (2004-07-07)

Aquatic plants may hold key to advancing plant disease management
The way aquatic plants respond to plant disease and climate change may have applications for managing land-based agriculture, say plant pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS). (2005-07-06)

Genetics may lie at the heart of crop yield limitation
You might think that plants grow according to how much nutrition, water and sunlight they are exposed to, but new research by Dr. Nick Pullen and a team from the John Innes Centre, UK shows that the plant's own genetics may be the real limiting factor. (2017-07-04)

How a fungus inhibits the immune system of plants
A newly discovered protein from a fungus is able to suppress the innate immune system of plants. This has been reported by research teams from Cologne and Würzburg in the journal Nature Communications. (2016-10-27)

Plants discriminate between self and non self
Two peas in a pod may not be so friendly when planted in the ground and even two parts of the same plant, once separated may treat the former conjoined twin as an alien (2005-08-09)

Safety of nanoparticles in food crops is still unclear
With the curtain about to rise on a much-anticipated new era of (2011-06-01)

FASEB Science Research Conference: Mechanisms in Plant Development
This SRC is an important and unique conference at the intersection of plant development, signaling, cell biology, modeling and genomics. This conference, which has been held every 2-3 years for the past 2 decades is the only meeting entirely dedicated to plant development. (2017-02-28)

Viral probe gives ringside view of cell-to-cell combat
A fascinating blow-by-blow account of the arms struggle between plants and viral pathogens, is revealed in new research. (2018-01-23)

Sowing new seeds of knowledge about the drivers of plant diversity
A new study of Australian wildflower communities is improving understanding of how climatic stress controls plant diversity, based on the strategies different species use to survive, grow and reproduce. (2017-05-17)

Why do some plants live fast and die young?
An international team led by researchers at the University of Manchester have discovered why some plants 'live fast and die young' whilst others have long and healthy lives. (2018-11-28)

Herbicides may not be sole cause of declining plant diversity
The increasing use of chemical herbicides is often blamed for the declining plant biodiversity in farms. However, other factors beyond herbicide exposure may be more important to species diversity, according to Penn State researchers. (2014-02-04)

More people are getting sick from eating fresh fruits
Salmonella, E. coli, shigellosis, hepatitis A, and Norwalk -- these food-borne diseases can produce symptoms that run from the mild to life-threatening. The young and old are particularly vulnerable and while consumption of beef and poultry have been the most common sources of such infections, fresh fruits and vegetables are being increasingly implicated in such outbreaks. So much so, that plant disease scientists are now taking a closer look at this issue. (2003-01-27)

Report proposes microbiology's grand challenge to help feed the world
A greater focus on the role of microbiology in agriculture combined with new technologies can help mitigate potential food shortages associated with world population increases according to a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology. (2013-08-27)

Potato Famine Fungus Strikes Again Says June BioScience Journal
Dr. William Fry and Dr. Stephen Goodwin report that migrations of virulent and fungicide-resistant strains of the potato famine fungus have worsened a disease that was effectively managed for decades. However, growers have several options for managing potato blight (1997-05-21)

The regulators active during iron deficiency
Iron deficiency is a critical situation for plants, which respond using specific genetic programmes. Biologists from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Michigan State University (MSU) used artificial intelligence methods to examine how to predict regulatory genetic sequences. They have now published the findings from their joint research work in the journal Plant Physiology. (2020-01-24)

ASPB supports the President's research initiatives
The American Society of Plant Biologists today issued it's strong support for the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) and Advanced Energy Initiative recommended by President Bush. (2006-02-17)

Why is the ground brown?
Ecologists have long asked, Why is the world green? In other words, why aren't herbivores, such as insects and grazing animals, more successful at eating the world's green leaves, also known as plant biomass? In the May 2006 issue of American Naturalist, Steven D. Allison (University of California, Irvine) asks the same questions a different way: Why is the ground brown? Why don't the organisms that break down the carbon in the soil consume it all? (2006-03-31)

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