Category

Plant Science

How bread wheat got its gluten: Tracing the impact of a long-lost relative on modern bread wheat

By | Agriculture, News, Plant Science

Genetic detective work has uncovered an obscure ancestor of modern bread wheat, in a finding similar to uncovering a famous long-lost relative through DNA analysis in humans. Researchers have sequenced the DNA from 242 unique accessions of Aegilops tauschii gathered over decades from across its native range – from Turkey to Central Asia.

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Why roots don’t grow in the shade

By | News, Plant Science

Plants need sunlight to survive. Researchers have discovered that when plants are grown in the shade, they turn on hundreds of stress-related genes. The researchers found that a specific group of proteins called WRKYs are responsible for stunting root growth so the plant can focus on growing taller. They hope that their findings will help other researchers design plants that can still thrive without sunlight, which may help farmers grow more crops in denser fields.

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Fleshy Fruits Are More Common in Tropics: Phylogenic Analysis

By | Fruits and Vegetables, News, Plant Science

Fruits can be dichotomously classified as fleshy or dry. Although many factors have been proposed to explain the pattern that the fleshy-fruited species occur with deceasing latitude and altitude, the relative importance of these factors has not yet been resolved. Researchers have investigated in a recent study factors affecting fruit type (fleshy vs. dry): plant growth form, environmental constraints (summarized by climate region), and phylogenetic conservatism. 

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“Ray guns” let scientists use light instead of DNA to tell plant populations apart

By | News, Plant Science

Researchers have used a handheld device that looks a little like a ray gun to record how plant leaves on different Alaskan mountains reflect light. And, it turns out, different populations of plants of the same species—for instance, plants living on neighboring mountaintops—reflect light differently, in ways that echo their genetic variation from each other.

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