In a world first, researchers have discovered a plant that has successfully evolved to use ants—as well as native bees—as pollinating agents by overcoming their antimicrobial defenses.
A team of scientists has developed a way to potentially thwart the spread of a disease-causing bacterium that harms more than 100 plant species worldwide, an advance that could save the nursery industry billions a year.
Some plants, like soybean, are known to possess an innate defense machinery that helps them develop resistance against insects trying to feed on them. However, exactly how these plants recognize signals from insects has been unknown until now. Scientists uncover how oral secretions of the cotton leaf worm trigger defense responses in a plant.
As a plant grows, it moves cellular material from its version of manufacturing sites to the cell wall construction zone. Transporter proteins, called motor proteins, are thought to move these cell wall cargo via a complex highway system made up of microtubule tracks. The position of these tracks must be stabilized so that cargo are delivered to the correct locations.
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth. Although this has long been common knowledge, scientists have only recently described the mechanism in detail. With biotechnology, this knowledge could now help make agriculture more sustainable.
How do plants know when it is time to flower? Researchers have studied this question and identified two genes that are key to this process. They were able to show that the ELF3 and GI genes control the internal clock of the plants that monitors the length of daylight and determine when it is the right time to flower.
High-throughput analyses of small substances in Nicotiana attenuata reveal that plants re-organize their metabolism to produce highly-specific defense metabolites after insect attack
Intercropping, or the simultaneous cultivation of multiple crops on a single plot of land, can significantly increase the yield, not only of low input agriculture, but also of intensive agriculture, and reduce the use of fertilisers.
In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists are facing great challenges because they have to reorient, interrupt or even cancel research and teaching. International researchers demand the active protection and support of diversity, equity and inclusion in science.
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the genome of a single-celled alga that belongs to the closest lineage to terrestrial plants and provides many clues to how aquatic plants first colonized land.