A new study describes a breakthrough in the quest to improve photosynthesis in certain crops, a step toward adapting plants to rapid climate changes and increasing yields to feed a projected 9 billion people by 2050.
For a tropical wildflower first described by scientists in 2000, the scientific name “extinctus” was a warning. The orange wildflower had been found 15 years earlier in an Ecuadorian forest that had since been largely destroyed; the scientists who named it suspected that by the time they named it, it was already extinct. But in a new paper researchers report the first confirmed sightings of Gasteranthus extinctus in 40 years.
Over the last century, emerging diseases have progressively been recognized by the scientific community as the main threat to forest ecosystems. With increasing international trade and globalization, the introduction of non-native species into new environments has exacerbated the problems of emerging pests and diseases worldwide. Additionally, other factors, such as climate change, further complicate matters by altering host-pathogen interactions, thus promoting the spread of diseases caused by native or non-native pathogens.
A collaborative research group has discovered the protein that inhibits the formation of organic nitrogen compounds in plants. This protein, if manipulated, could potentially be used to encourage plant growth, improving biomass production and crop harvests.
A new study shows that it took more than 10 millennia from when the first spruces returned to Sweden after the glacial stage of the last Ice Age until the species became widespread. This sluggish rate of initial dispersal has surprised the researchers, since the spruce might have had good prospects of expanding its range.
New research has discovered how natural responses to stress in plants modify the way DNA is wrapped up in the cell to help it withstand the adverse effects that climate change has on its growth.
While rain is essential for the survival of plants, it also contains bacteria and other pathogens which can cause them harm. So how do plants protect themselves from this threat?
Life on Earth runs in 24-hour cycles. From tiny bacteria to human beings, organisms adapt to alterations of day and night. External factors, such as changes in light and temperature, are needed to entrain the clock. Many metabolic processes are controlled by the endogenous clock. Scientists have now studied the molecular rhythms of the endogenous clock in the “green lineage”.
A recent publication provides results of the first-ever study to test genomic selection in breeding for resistance to wheat blast, a deadly disease caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae that is spreading from its origin in Brazil to threaten wheat crops in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.