Linseed or flax (Linum usitatissimum) is known to be one of the oldest crops, cultivated since the beginning of civilization. In the last two decades, due to the potential health benefits associated with its biologically active components, linseed has been the focus of increased interest in the field of diet and disease research.
The most comprehensive study of the family tree for legumes, the plant family that includes beans, soybeans, peanuts, and many other economically important crop plants, reveals a history of whole-genome duplications. The study also helps to uncover the evolution of genes involved in nitrogen fixation—a key trait likely important in the evolutionary spread and diversification of legumes and vital for their use as “green manure” in agriculture.
Researchers have shown that pea plants are able to make smart investment decisions when it comes to interactions with their symbiotic bacterial partners. Better understanding of how plants manage these interactions could help with the move towards sustainable agriculture.
The detrimental impact of pesticides on non-target organisms is one of the most urgent concerns in current agriculture. Double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) represent the most species-specific class of pesticides to date, potentially allowing control of a target pest without effecting other species.
Both people and tomatoes come in different shapes and sizes. That is because every individual has a unique set of genetic variations—mutations—that affect how genes act and function. Added together, millions of small genetic variations make it hard to predict how a particular mutation will impact any individual.
A recent work describes a new rapid ‘leaf-disk assay’ that uses chlorophyll fluorescence emissions to determine whether a weed is resistant to various systemic and contact herbicides.
Eucalyptus, a pest-resistant evergreen valued for its hardy lumber and wellness-promoting oil, can be genetically modified not to reproduce sexually, a key step toward preventing the global tree plantation staple from invading native ecosystems.
Researchers have successfully sequenced the genome of previously extinct date palm varieties that lived more than 2,000 years ago. They did so using date palm seeds that were recovered from archaeological sites in the southern Levant region and radiocarbon-dated from the 4th century BCE to the 2nd century CE.