Login

GPC Members Login
If you have any problems or have forgotten your login please contact [email protected]


Designing a more productive corn able to cope with future climates

An international research team has found they can increase corn productivity by targeting the enzyme in charge of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere.


‘Turbocharging’ photosynthesis increases plant biomass

Scientists from the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and Cornell have boosted a carbon-craving enzyme called RuBisCO to turbocharge photosynthesis in corn. The discovery promises to be a key step in improving agricultural efficiency and yield, according to their esearch published in Nature Plants


CRISPR tames the wild groundcherry

You might not have heard of the groundcherry, or at least, never tasted one. But that could soon change thanks to research from the Van Eck Laboratory at Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI).


Invasive Plants Can Boost Blue Carbon Storage

Coastal Ecosystems Store More Carbon With Certain Plant Invaders, but Animal Invaders Set Them Back


Sex in plants requires thrust

Plant sex relies on a combination of prodding and a lot of communication and guidance suggests a study published in a issue of Technology.


Genome Duplication Drives Evolution of Species

Polyploid plants have a duplicate set of chromosomes. As a result, large-scale genetic changes are therefore possible in the new species, making it more adaptable in comparison with the parental species, as has now been proven by UZH researchers with rockcress.


A protein prevents plants from premature flowering

The induction of flowering is of major importance from an ecological and agronomic point of view. Timely and synchronous flowering is essential to optimize pollination and allow seed production and maturation under favorable environmental conditions. Environmental factors, including light in particular, regulate flowering time, the mechanisms of which have been the subject of many studies. However, these experiments were usually performed in growth chambers in the absence of UV-B, a type of radiation that is a natural component of sunlight and, for example, is responsible for sunburns in humans. A team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) has discovered that UV-B can be a powerful inducer of flowering, but that a protein called RUP2 blocks their action to prevent early flowering. This work is published in the journal Genes & Development.


Photosynthesis discovery could help next-gen biotechnologies

Researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ) and the University of Münster (WWU) have purified and visualized the 'Cyclic Electron Flow' (CEF) supercomplex, a critical part of the photosynthetic machinery in all plants, in a discovery that could help guide the development of next-generation solar biotechnologies.


How a Molecular Signal Helps Plant Cells Decide When to Make Oil: Details of mechanism suggest new strategy for engineering plants to make more oil

A study at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory identifies new details of how a sugar-signaling molecule helps regulate oil production in plant cells. As described in a paper appearing in the journal The Plant Cell, the work could point to new ways to engineer plants to produce substantial amounts of oil for use as biofuels or in the production of other oil-based products.


Arctic plants grow taller amid warming climate

Until now, the Arctic tundra has been the domain of low-growing grasses and dwarf shrubs. Defying the harsh conditions, these plants huddle close to the ground and often grow only a few centimetres high. But new, taller plant species have been slowly taking over this chilly neighbourhood, report an international group of nearly 130 biologists led by scientists from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the German Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Nature. This has led to an overall increase in the height of tundra plant communities over the past three decades.


Burst of morning gene activity tells plants when to flower

For angiosperms — or flowering plants — one of the most important decisions facing them each year is when to flower. It is no trivial undertaking. To flower, they must cease vegetative growth and commit to making those energetically expensive reproductive structures that will bring about the next generation.


A one-way Street for Salt: How quinoa plants thrive in saline soils

Barely heard of a couple of years ago, quinoa today is common on European supermarket shelves. The hardy plant thrives even in saline soils. Researchers from the University of Würzburg have now determined how the plant gets rid of the excess salt.


What’s eating these endangered orchids?

A species of seed-feeding fly is critically damaging the seed production of multiple orchid species, as revealed by a group of Japanese researchers. If the damage caused by this fly is occurring long-term and across Japan, these already-endangered orchid species could become unable to reproduce using seeds, and their dwindling numbers will take a large hit.


Diverse forests are stronger against drought

Resilient forests host trees with a diversity of water-use strategies


Plant growth-promoting bacteria enhance plant salinity tolerance

Soil salinity is one of the key abiotic stress factor affecting agricultural productivity worldwide. Every day, nearly 2,000 hectares of fertile agricultural land degrades due to salinity. There are only limited agricultural options to cope with increasing salinification of soils, especially in the case of salt sensitive staple crops such as rice and wheat, productivity of which is seriously curbed due to salinity in many Earth locations. Among the possible options, plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) have a large potential to improve crop plant productivity under salinity, but the progress in application of PGPB has been slow due to lack of non-invasive methodology for testing the efficiency of different bacteria in increasing plant salt resistance. The collaborative study by scientists of Chungbuk National University, South Korea and the Estonian University of Life Sciences looked at foliage volatile emission and photosynthetic traits as potential non-invasive markers to estimate improvements in salinity resistance upon inoculation of rice plants with plant growth-promoting rhizosphere bacterium (PGPR) Brevibacterium linens RS16.


Wheat genome blueprint accelerates innovation

Breakthrough research in creating a comprehensive blueprint of the wheat genome will bring disruptive innovation to wheat breeding, predicts University of Saskatchewan crop scientist Curtis Pozniak, whose team played a key role in the successful international wheat genomics project.


How Plants Harness Microbes to Get Nutrients

Study could lead to enhanced crop growth, fewer weeds and lower fertilizer and herbicide use


Newly Discovered Enzyme is “Firing Pin” for Plant Immunity

SIK1 Gene Opens Possibilities for Treating Disease, Breeding Resistant Crops


Searching for clues on extreme climate change

The remains of a buried pine forest at the foot of Mont Saint Genis in Southern France yield insightful information on a drastic climate change event. The pine tree stand initiated around 12,900 years ago during the relatively warm “Allerød” period, and continued growing into the cold snap of the "Younger Dryas" period. Researchers at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, together with international colleagues, have for the first time combined classic tree-ring width measurements with chemical (stable isotope) analyses of carbon and oxygen in tree-rings to reconstruct climate variables. Thus, they were able to calculate local soil water composition (precipitation) and relative humidity at annual time resolution. This resulted in novel insights into the hydrological variability and atmospheric circulation changes during an abrupt climate change event.


Organic farming methods favour pollinators

Pollinating insects are endangered globally, with a particularly steep decline over the last 40 years. An extensive 3-year study from Lund University in Sweden has found that organic farming methods can contribute to halting the pollinator decline. This beneficial effect is due to both the absence of insecticides and a higher provision of flower resources.


‘High-yield’ farming costs the environment less than previously thought – and could help spare habitats

New findings suggest that more intensive agriculture might be the “least bad” option for feeding the world while saving its species – provided use of such “land-efficient” systems prevents further conversion of wilderness to farmland.


Trees reveal the evolution of environmental pollution

While walking or driving along tree-lined streets in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, you will pass many a tipuana tree (Tipuana tipu). Also known as rosewood or tipu, it is a tall tree with a large spreading canopy and is ubiquitous in the city.


Blazes of light reveal how plants signal danger long distances

In one video, you can see a hungry caterpillar, first working around a leaf’s edges, approaching the base of the leaf and, with one last bite, severing it from the rest of the plant. Within seconds, a blaze of fluorescent light washes over the other leaves, a signal that they should prepare for future attacks by the caterpillar or its kin.


New plant species discovered in museum is probably extinct

A single non-photosynthetic plant specimen preserved in a Japanese natural history museum has been identified as a new species. However, it is highly possible that this species is already extinct. These findings were published in Phytotaxa.


Location, location, location: does seedling defence vary over large geographical scales?

Do the defence mechanisms employed by seedlings to avoid being eaten by herbivores vary according to their location? That is the question being asked by scientists at the University of Plymouth as part of a new three-year project funded by the Leverhulme Trust.


Wetlands are key for accurate greenhouse gas measurements in the Arctic

The Arctic is rapidly warming, with stronger effects than observed elsewhere in the world. The Arctic regions are particularly important with respect to climate change, as permafrost soils store huge amounts of the Earth's soil carbon (C). Warming of Arctic soils and thawing of permafrost can have substantial consequences for the global climate, as the large C stored in soils could be released to the atmosphere as the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). The release of these heat-trapping gases, in turn, has the potential to further enhance climate warming.


New approach to conserving tree species

Globally, forest trees are increasingly at risk from habitat destruction, pests and disease, and a changing climate. But the guidelines for effective preservation of a tree species' genetic diversity and adaptive potential have been limited to simple mathematical equations for crop collections from the 1970s, or best guesses based on intuitions.


Multidisciplinary team tackles agricultural threat to global food security

CLEMSON, South Carolina – Weak corn and sorghum stalks cause the loss of about 20 percent of the crops in the U.S. annually, and Rajan Sekhon and Christopher McMahan of Clemson University's College of Science are part of a multi-university consortium trying to find out why.


Jumping genes drive sex chromosome changes in strawberries

The transfer of gene cassettes across generations of strawberry plants has been shown to drive changes in sex chromosomes, according to a team led by a researcher from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences.


Computer models provide new insights for sustainable control of potato late blight

Wageningen University & Research uses computer models to develop sustainable management strategies in the control of potato late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans. Francine Pacilly has recently receive her PhD on this socially relevant topic. Her research provides important insights for farmers, breeders, potato traders, retailers and governments. Resistant varieties can play an important role in sustainable disease control, but cooperation between stakeholders in the whole potato sector is required.