Fruits can be dichotomously classified as fleshy or dry. Although many factors have been proposed to explain the pattern that the fleshy-fruited species occur with deceasing latitude and altitude, the relative importance of these factors has not yet been resolved. Researchers have investigated in a recent study factors affecting fruit type (fleshy vs. dry): plant growth form, environmental constraints (summarized by climate region), and phylogenetic conservatism.
The genus Allium contains about 1,100 species worldwide, including many staple foods like onion, garlic, scallion, shallot and chives. Even though this group of vegetables has been making appearances at family dinners for centuries, it turns out that it is a long way from running out of surprises, as a group of researchers from India recently found out.
Researchers have been studying seed dispersal to understand how chemicals impact interactions between fruit and the animals that eat them.
Chicory is a beautiful plant with blue flowers, but the interesting part is in the ground: the chicory taproots are a source of inulin, a natural sweetener that is used in bread and dairy products and as dietary fibre for healthy intestinal function. Researchers have now used a new breeding techniques to develop a chicory variety that no longer contains bitter compounds.
Pollinators – such as bees, butterflies and birds – are essential for agricultural production. However, natural pollination can also fail or be insufficient, which can lead to lower yields and poorer quality. This means alternative solutions are needed. Hand pollination, in which pollen is applied manually or mechanically to the flower, can supplement or replace pollination by animals.
A water-absorbent coat to keep rust away? It may seem counterintuitive but when it comes to soybean plants and rust disease, researchers from Japan have discovered that applying a coating that makes leaf surfaces water absorbent helps to protect against infection.
Coconut trees grow slowly and are difficult to clone. Scientists have developed a method to multiply seedlings faster and conserve coconut genetic resources for the long term. This will help to preserve coconut tree biodiversity and meet the increasing demand for coconuts and derived products.
Manipulating RNA can allow plants to yield dramatically more crops, as well as increasing drought tolerance, announced a group of scientists recently.
A research team has investigated how people in five different countries react to various usages of genome editing in agriculture. The researchers looked at which uses are accepted and how the risks and benefits of the new breeding technologies are rated by people.