Cereal crops exhibit two distinct types of branching which are the important determinants of crop yield. Crops such as maize and sorghum produce only one culm to reduce competition among sinks and increase the productivity of the main culm, thus exhibiting enhanced apical dominance. Rice and wheat produce multiple tillers (a type of branch that is similar in shape and height to the main culm) and exhibit weakened apical dominance.
To develop a successful parasitic relationship, parasitic plants form a specialized structure, the haustorium which attaches to and invades the host plant. The formation of haustoria is regulated by signal molecules derived from the host plant and allows the parasitic plant to absorb water, nutrients, and small materials from the host plant. Now, researchers find that the plant hormone ethylene mediates the invasion of hosts by parasitic plants
Downy mildew is the biggest threat to spinach production around the world. While the pathogen has a short life cycle (approximately a week), it can produce millions of spores during the spinach growing season. Overhead sprinkler irrigation systems and dew formation on cool nights leads to more moisture, which enables these spores to infect the spinach.
The rubber-based agroforestry systems have been recently established to provide a promising solution for the sustainable development of rubber cultivation. However, the water relations between rubber trees and the intercrops remain poorly understood.
In a landmark discovery for global wheat production, an international team has sequenced the genomes for 15 wheat varieties representing breeding programs around the world, enabling scientists and breeders to much more quickly identify influential genes for improved yield, pest resistance and other important crop traits.
The dynamic change in root growth of plants plays an important role in their adjustment to soil conditions. Depending on the location, nutrients or moisture can be found in higher or lower soil layers. This is why, depending on the situation, a short or a long root is advantageous.
The national wheat improvement program in India has contributed significantly toward achieving food security since the advent of the green revolution in the 1960s. However, for the sustainable wheat production in this era of climate change, high yielding thermo-tolerant varieties with durable disease resistance, and with the capacity to produce more with less of water and fertilizers are urgently needed. Recently, the first study conducted on comprehensive and systematic evaluation of ~22,000 accessions of wheat was published.
Being highly connected to a strong social network has its benefits. Now a new study is showing the same goes for trees, thanks to their underground neighbours. This study is the first to show that the growth of adult trees is linked to their participation in fungal networks living in the forest soil.
Questions about the origin of nature have fascinated humans since the dawn of culture. One phenomenon of particular interest is the high diversity of forests in the tropics, relative to those in the temperate zone. One prominent hypothesis is that the greater stability of tropical forests allows greater prevalence of pests, each of which then can exert greater damage on its favored host tree than in the temperate zone, particularly when the tree species concerned becomes common.
The enzyme Rubisco catalyzes the assimilation of CO2 from the atmosphere into organic matter. This is the central step in photosynthesis that generates sugar molecules for the production of essentially all biomass. Despite its pivotal role, Rubisco works relatively slowly and is easily inhibited by sugar products. By improving the function of Rubisco researchers hope to be able to boost the process of photosynthesis. The goal is to address the growing global demand for food and reduce the current greenhouse gas-induced climate change.