Plant seeds may strike the casual observer as unspectacular – but they have properties that are nothing short of superpowers. In a dry state they can store their energy for years and then suddenly release it for germination when environmental conditions are favourable. Seeds conserve a fully formed embryo, which only continues growing when conditions are right for it to do so. This may be the case only years – or in more extreme cases even centuries – later.
Improper adoption of climate impact modelling could leave us ill prepared for even higher temperatures and more frequent heatwaves, according to new research.
What if we could grow plants that are larger and also have higher nutritional content? For decades, scientists have been trying to dial up amino acid content in crops by ramping up their production systems, but they always run into the same problem: the crops get sick. Until now.
The synchronization of seed production by trees has garnered attention due to its importance in agriculture, forestry and ecosystem management. Therefore, understanding the timing and mechanisms that contribute to synchronized seeding can be a useful management tool.
A research team recently developed new methods that will make it significantly faster to produce gene-edited plants. They hope to alleviate a long-standing bottleneck in gene editing and, in the process, make it easier and faster to develop and test new crop varieties with two new approaches.
A new study shows that lodgepole pine trees with larger resin ducts survived beetle attacks that killed trees with smaller ducts. Located in the needles, branches, trunk and roots, the ducts act like highways to carry sticky, toxic resin to whatever part of the tree is being attacked.
A new study that examines the genetics behind the bitter taste of some sorghum plants and one of Africa’s most reviled bird species illustrates how human genetics, crops and the environment influence one another in the process of plant domestication.
Botanists from have discovered that “penny-pinching” evergreen species such as Christmas favourites, holly and ivy, are more climate change-ready in the face of warming temperatures than deciduous “big-spending” water consumers like birch and oak. As such, they are more likely to prosper in the near future.
The catastrophic bushfires raging across much of Australia have not only taken a huge human and economic toll, but also delivered heavy blows to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Scientists are warning of catastrophic extinctions of animals and plants.