Big data: researchers double accuracy in predicting wheat yields

By | Agriculture, News

The enormous potential of Big Data has already been demonstrated in areas such as financial services and telecommunications. An international team of researchers has now tapped the potential of big data for the first time on a large scale for plant research. To this end, data from three projects were used to increase the predictive accuracy for yield in hybrid varieties of wheat.

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How do plants balance microbial friends and foes?​​

By | News, Plant Health, Plant Science

​Plants are constantly exposed to microbes: pathogens that cause disease, commensals that cause no harm or benefit, and mutualists that promote plant growth or help fend off pathogens. For example, most land plants can form positive relationships with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to improve nutrient uptake. How plants fight off pathogens without also killing beneficial microbes or wasting energy on commensal microbes is a largely unanswered question.

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How do plants hedge their bets?

By | News, Plant Science

In some environments there is no way for a seed to know for sure when the best time to germinate is.

In spring, cues like light, temperature and water may suggest to seeds that conditions are optimal for germination, but a week later an unpredictable drought or frost could kill the emerging seedlings.

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