Category

Plant Science

Image: Late blight lesion on a potato leaf. Credit: Jean Ristaino, NC State University

Using Written Records – and Tweets – as a Roadmap for Plant Disease Spread

By | News, Plant Health, Plant Science

Researchers used text analytics on historical and contemporary writings, including tweets, to trace the spread of Phytophthora infestans, the pathogen behind the 1840s Irish potato famine and ongoing potato and tomato issues. By analyzing keywords and social media, they shed light on past outbreaks and modern disease trends, showcasing the potential of textual analysis in disease tracking.

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Scientists point the way to advance conservation and restoration of seagrass meadows

By | Botany, General, News, Plant Science

European scientists outline critical research questions for seagrass conservation. Seagrass meadows, crucial for carbon storage and biodiversity, face decline. Collaborative efforts aim to address knowledge gaps, emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary research. Funding disparities highlight the need for inclusive approaches to save European coastal ecosystems.

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Untreated (left) and mebendazole treated (right) seedling of Arabidopsis thaliana growing on the surface of vertical agar plates. While the root branches of the untreated plant point downwards, mebendazole leads to the branches pointing much more sidewards, leading to a shallower root system. Credit: Salk Institute

Controlling root growth direction could help save crops and mitigate climate change

By | News, Plant Science

Understanding how plant hormones, particularly ethylene, control root growth direction offers insight into optimizing crop resilience and mitigating climate change. Scientists discovered ethylene’s pivotal role in shaping root architecture, presenting opportunities to engineer plants for deeper root systems, enhancing carbon storage, drought resistance, and sustainable agriculture.

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Image: A closeup of Arabidopsis leaves and seed pods. Credit: Kevin Coughlin/Brookhaven National Laboratory.

New genetic strategy for preventing breakdown of plant oils needed for biofuels and other products

By | News, Plant Science

Scientists have developed a genetic method to enhance plant oil production, crucial for biofuels and nutrition. By modifying a protein that shields oil droplets, they increased oil content in leaves and seeds. This strategy promises sustainable fuel sources and nutrient-rich oils, offering a significant advancement in green energy and agriculture.

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Image: Bioluminescent image of Arabidopsis seedlings expressing circadian clock reporter genes in response to water stress. Credit: Tong Liang, PhD/ Kay laboratory, USC

Researchers uncover biological circuit that offers a new avenue for creating drought-resistant crops

By | News, Plant Science

Climate change is already harming agricultural yields and may one day pose a significant threat to the world’s food supply. Engineering more resilient crops, including those able to thrive in the face of drought or high soil salinity levels, is an increasingly urgent need. A new study reveals details about how plants regulate their responses to stress that may prove crucial to those efforts.

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