The first plant embryo gene expression atlas at the single cell level was developed by a team of researchers. The work is a milestone on the way to uncovering the molecular mechanisms that determine how the most fundamental plant cell-types are established at the beginning of life.
Findings reveal how plants use a blend of genes, geography, demography and environmental conditions to evolve defense chemicals over time.
The mystery of the formation of one of the most peculiar plant forms – the Romanesco cauliflower – has been solved by a team of international and multidisciplinar scientists.
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.
To describe something as slow and boring we say it’s “like watching grass grow”, but scientists studying the early morning activity of plants have found they make a rapid start to their day – within minutes of dawn.
Researchers have re-animated specimens of a fungus that causes coffee wilt to discover how the disease evolved and how its spread can be prevented.
Scientists have discovered a single gene that simultaneously boosts plant growth and tolerance for stresses such as drought and salt, all while tackling the root cause of climate change by enabling plants to pull more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
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.
Nitrates are critical for the growth of plants, so plants have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to ensure sufficient nitrate uptake from their environments. In a new study, researchers have identified a plant enzyme that is key to activating a nitrate uptake mechanism in response to nitrogen starvation. This finding explains how plants meet their needs in challenging environments, opening doors to improving agriculture in such environments.
Scientists have used gene technology to understand more about the make-up of the evolution of brassicas – paving the way for bigger and more climate resilient yields from this group of crops that have been grown for thousands of years.