A plant used in traditional Chinese medicine has evolved to become less visible to humans, new research shows. Scientists found that Fritillaria delavayi plants, which live on rocky slopes of China’s Hengduan mountains, match their backgrounds most closely in areas where they are heavily harvested.
The popularity of tomatoes has led to the development of more than 10,000 cultivars of various sizes, shapes, and hues. Interestingly though, there is little genetic diversity among modern tomato varieties. This lack of diversity, coupled with the fact that many traits are controlled by multiple genes, makes improving plant yield and quality a major challenge for tomato breeders. A research team shows that modern gene editing techniques can help tomato breeders introduce diversity and improve the nutrition and environmental impact of tomato crops.
Researchers call for a coalition of biotech industry, government and non-government organizations, trade organizations, and academic experts to work together to provide basic information about gene-edited crops to lift the veil on how plants or plant products are modified and provide greater transparency on the presence and use of gene editing in food supplies.
A deadly wheat disease common to Asia and South America has been identified in Africa for the first time, raising fears of potential spread to wheat crops across the continent. Researchers say that the fast-acting and devastating fungal disease known as wheat blast was first spotted in Africa in the Zambian rainfed wheat production system in the 2017-2018 crop cycle.
Climate change is a major global crisis. Despite international agreements to fight climate change, greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase and global temperatures continue to rise. The potential effects on our lives are drastic: recent wildfires in the US and Australia, floods due to heavier precipitation, and heavy losses of crops are all indicative of this. But simply reducing the production of greenhouse gases, although crucial, is not enough. The CO2that we’ve released, and are continuing to release into the atmosphere, remains there indefinitely. Climate change will thus continue to worsen unless atmospheric carbon is removed. Therefore, finding cutting-edge solutions for the active removal of greenhouse gases is crucial.
A new study shows diversifying agricultural systems beyond a narrow selection of crops leads to a range of ecosystem improvements while also maintaining or improving yields. Accordint to one of the authors, some marketing and agricultural policy considerations will have to change for farmers to adopt diversification practices more widely.
Scientists around the world have been working to grow arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi without their host plants because they can be used as organic fertilizer in agriculture and forestry. AM fungi help plants receive nutrients from the soil through a network that is efficient and far more reaching than their own roots can provide. Now researchers have successfully demonstrated that AM fungi can be grown asymbiotically when given myristate as a carbon and energy source.
Researchers found wild relatives of sorghum in higher concentrations in Australia than anywhere else; the plants have potential to combat drought and extreme heat, but they need urgent safeguarding
Plants can be infected by multiple viruses at once. However, the composition of the pathogen community varies, even if individuals belong to the same species and the same population. Ecologists have now shown that these differences are primarily due to genetic variation among the hosts. The loss of genetic diversity could thus render species more vulnerable to infections and extinction.
The biological clock of a popular food crop controls close to three-quarters of its genes, according to a new research. The study can help researchers target genes to improve growth and stress resilience when a plant is moved to a new region or encounters changing climate conditions.