Agricultural management has typically focused on increasing yields, but there is an increasing need for sustainable food production that limits negative impacts on the environment. A new study provides insights into the potential benefits of diversifying agricultural practices, revealing how different mixtures of plant species can improve production, quality, and conservation.
Plants emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere upon mechanical damages or insect attacks. Undamaged neighboring plants sense the released VOCs as danger cues to activate defense responses against upcoming threats. This phenomenon of airborne communication among plants through VOCs was first documented in 1983 and has since been observed in more than 30 different plant species. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying VOC perception to defense induction remain unclear.
As the world focuses on not only solving the climate crisis but also sustaining the world’s food supply, researchers need tools to evaluate how atmospheric pollutants affect crops. Over the past decade, the agriculture community has turned to solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) measurements to detect stresses on plants.
Flowering, a critical developmental phase in a plant’s life, signifies its transition to reproductive maturity. The timing of flowering crucially impacts the plant’s reproductive period and adaptability to the environment. Achieving the correct flowering time is essential for successful fruit reproduction, regulated by both environmental cues and internal signals. Vernalization and photoperiod pathways orchestrate numerous floral signals, with methylation (histone, DNA, and RNA) emerging as a key epigenetic player in regulating plant growth and development, especially in flowering. Despite progress, understanding regulatory factors in vernalization and photoperiod pathways, as well as responses to internal and external signals, remains an ongoing challenge.
A new paper reveals that researchers have found unaltered agave plant species cultivated by several early cultures including the Hohokam people, a large Native American group in the Southwest that existed between 300 and 1500 CE.
5th State of the World’s report, lays out the current condition of the world’s plants and fungi globally. Based on the work of 200 international researchers and covering the content of more than 25 cutting-edge scientific papers in its 11 chapters, the new report examines global drivers and patterns of biodiversity as well as critical knowledge gaps and how to address them.
Maize plants form special compounds derived from indole, the so-called benzoxazinoids. They are considered ecologically important because they act against a wide range of herbivores and reduce their feeding. Benzoxazinoids also exhibit antimicrobial properties and are thought to be involved in mediating plant-plant interactions.
Regardless of how one says “tomato,” they all contain tomatine, a toxin in the plant’s green fruit, leaves, and roots. Tomatoes produce the bitter-tasting compound—a major plant-specialized metabolite secreted from the roots—to defend against pathogens and foragers.
Grasses transfer genes from their neighbours in the same way genetically modified crops are made, a new study has revealed.
As climate change progresses, the chance of southern plant species spreading to northern regions increases. In Europe and America, many of the alien plant species come from their own continent. They usually originate in warmer regions closer to the equator—a phenomenon that could be exacerbated by climate change.