A global team of researchers recently released the results of a ‘data-rich’ modelling approach designed to illustrate a range of what-if scenarios for future oil palm plantation development in Indonesia. The study provides new insight into crop production strategies available to an industry facing increasing scrutiny.
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.
A length of steel pipe and a heart monitor are the unlikely tools underpinning new research which suggests that trees may work together to form resource-sharing networks, helping the group collectively overcome environmental challenges.
A grass commonly used to fight soil erosion has been genetically modified to successfully remove toxic chemicals left in the ground from munitions that are dangerous to human health, new research shows.
Leguminous plants, like peas, beans, and various species of clover, obtain the organic nitrogen they need for their growth from symbiotic soil bacteria via specialized structures in their roots. Now researchers explain an evolutionary step in the symbiosis between plants and nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Plant scientists say circadian clock genes, which enable plants to measure daily and seasonal rhythms, should be targeted in agriculture and crop breeding for higher yields and more sustainable farming.
Research has shed new light on the impact of humans on Earth’s biodiversity. The findings suggest that the rate of change in an ecosystem’s plant-life increases significantly during the years following human settlement, with the most dramatic changes occurring in locations settled in the last 1500 years.
Within the past decade, next-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized the way in which genetic data are generated and analyzed. In the field of phylogenetics, this has meant that researchers are rapidly reconstructing the tree of life, a goal that biologists have been working toward since Darwin sketched the first phylogeny in his notebook in 1837.
A group of researchers has discovered a new approach to cereal plant breeding that takes into account the internal “calculator” of plant seeds that makes them continuously reorganise themselves (global coherence). The approach includes unforeseen and unintended changes in the plant when genetically manipulated by the plant breeders. The researchers expect that the method can be used to improve the world’s crops much more efficiently.