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How plants ensure regular seed spacing

By | Agriculture, CEPLAS, Future Directions, News, Plant Science, Research

An international team of researchers led by biologists has examined how seed formation is coordinated with fruit growth. In their report, they explain the genetic control mechanisms underlying the process. If you open up a pea pod, you will find that all of the peas inside are the same size and the same distance apart. The same is true of princess beans, runner beans and soybeans as well as various other peas and beans, and it also applies to non-pulses. This is surprising because both the seed size and number and the pod size differ substantially from one variety to the next.

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Mystery solved: How do tips of plants stay virus-free?

By | CSPB, News, Plant Health, Plant Science

Plants are able to keep growing indefinitely because they have tissues made of meristems–plant stem cells–which have the unique ability to transform themselves into the various specialized cells that make up the plant, dividing whenever appropriate and producing new cells of whatever type as needed. Meristems exist at the tips of all plants, allowing them to grow new stems or new roots, and, in trees, also in the trunk, where they add extra girth.

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Parasitic plants attack crops when defending themselves from microbes

By | News, Plant Health, Plant Science

Researchers have discovered a link between defensive responses in plants and the beautiful but devastating crop parasite witchweed. The new study shows that both parasitic and non-parasitic plants can detect and react to a class of organic compounds called quinones. While parasitic plants sense quinones in their prey and use it to invade, quinones trigger defensive responses in non-parasitic plants that can protect them from bacteria and other microbes.

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