Seed germination depends on light in many plants. But not always: Aethionema arabicum, a plant adapted to challenging environmental conditions, does it its own way. Here, the phytochromes, the receptors for red and far-red light, play an unexpected role in seed germination and time this process to the optimal season. These findings are a compelling example of the evolutionary rewiring of signaling modules that help plants adapt to their habitats.
Plant Genetic Resources underpin not only the future of agriculture and food security, but are increasingly being re-evaluated to address issues such as climate adaptation, nutrition and the wider bio-economy. This week a prominent ‘perspective’ paper provides an excellent overview and explanation of the international agreements that govern use of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) as well as best practices for complying with the agreements.
An international team of scientists found that the right number of copies of a specific group of genes can stimulate longer root growth, enabling wheat plants to pull water from deeper supplies. The resulting plants have more biomass and produce higher grain yield,
New research from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences has found that a plant’s natural ability to store seeds in soil, a method for preserving seeds in unfavourable conditions, is not as useful as once thought.
An international panel of scientists have identified 100 of the most important questions facing plant science.
Aloe vera is a well-known plant species from the genus Aloe used throughout the globe in wide range of products from creams and soaps to drinks and over-the-counter products. The genus Aloe has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and approximately 20% of the species are used locally in the regions they grow.
Tree roots commonly associate with fungi to exchange nutrients and improve their adaptation to changes in their environment. However, the biological processes at work in this mutually beneficial relationship (namely ectomycorrhizae) have not yet been fully explored. Now, researcher have demonstrated for the first time that the establishment of the symbiotic relationship between the model tree poplar and an ectomycorrhizal fungus is controlled by epigenetics.
The tropics hold most of the planet’s biodiversity. In order to preserve this fragile and valuable asset, many individuals and communities need to get involved and be well informed. However, tropical ecology and conservation sciences are still often affected by colonialistic and discriminatory practices, which can hamper nature conservation success. An international research team from leading universities in tropical research has now proposed how researchers from the Global South, which consists of nations historically damaged by colonialism, could better promote solutions for a sustainable development.
Most people own houseplants and eagerly grow them on windowsills and shelves only to be disappointed when they wilt or die – new research has shown that the problem could be that we’re feeding them all wrong and we need to pay attention to the roots outside the soil.
Delving deeper into organ development requires long-term monitoring of organ growth. Researchers have designed a novel approach that they employed to characterise growing leaves. Over several weeks scientists photographed more than 1,000 leaves at varying developmental stages. By applying targeted algorithms, they were able to reconstruct the complete story of leaf development.