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Plants pass on ‘memory’ of stress to some progeny, making them more resilient

By | Agriculture, News, Plant Science

By manipulating the expression of one gene, geneticists can induce a form of “stress memory” in plants that is inherited by some progeny, giving them the potential for more vigorous, hardy and productive growth, according to researchers, who suggest the discovery has significant implications for plant breeding. And because the technique is epigenetic — involving the expression of existing genes and not the introduction of new genetic material from another plant — crops bred using this technology could sidestep controversy associated with genetically modified organisms and food.

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Medicinal plants thrive in biodiversity hotspots

By | Botany, News, Plant Science

With their rich repertoire of anti-infective substances, medicinal plants have always been key in the human fight to survive pathogens and parasites. This is why the search for herbal drugs with novel structures and effects is still one of the great challenges of natural product research today. Scientists have now shown a way to considerably simplify this search for bioactive natural compounds using data analyses on the phylogenetic relationships, spatial distribution and secondary metabolites of plants.

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​​Sweet potato microbiome research important first step towards improving yield

By | Agriculture, Fruits and Vegetables, News, Plant Health, Plant Science

Grown around the world, sweet potatoes are an important source of nutrition particularly in sub-Saharan African and Asian diets. Sweet potatoes are especially significant to sub-Saharan Africa as a source of Vitamin A, a nutrient commonly deficient in the region. While China currently produces the most sweet potatoes by country, sub-Saharan Africa has more land devoted to sweetpotatoes and continues to expand production. Farmers elsewhere are also increasingly growing sweetpotatoes.

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