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Watching Plants Switch on Genes

By | News, Plant Science

Biologists often use green fluorescent protein (GFP) to see what happens inside cells. GFP, which scientists first isolated in jellyfish, is a protein that changes light from one color into another. Attaching it to other proteins allows researchers to find out if cells produce those proteins and where within cells to find them. This in turn shows how cells deliver and use genes.

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jimaro morales / Pixabay

Extreme Salt Stress Triggers Leaf Movement

By | News, Plant Science

Plant leaves can cope with much higher salt concentrations than roots. The underlying mechanism may help to develop more salt-tolerant crops. When there is a lack of water, heat or intensive irrigation, the level of common salt (sodium chloride) in the soil increases. However, most crops are sensitive to salt. They react to the increasing soil salinity by greatly reducing their growth. This leads to a reduction in the harvest.

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Documenting and making available the world’s crop diversity

By | Agriculture, Fruits and Vegetables, News, Plant Science

Genebanks play an important role in the long-term conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Out of 1,800 genebank collections worldwide, more than 600 are in Europe. This vast array of crop diversity can be exploited to make our crops more nutritious, productive and resilient to pests, diseases and environmental changes, only if we have information about it.

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A spectral window into plants of the past

By | Botany, News

Until now, the only way to learn about these traits from herbarium collections has required destroying bits of the precious specimens. But now researchers have developed a fast, nondestructive way of estimating the functional traits of herbarium specimens. The research, offers ecologists a powerful new tool for using biological collections to understand how plant communities change over time, providing insights into how we might best keep ecosystems healthy in the future.

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