Researchers have discovered a link between defensive responses in plants and the beautiful but devastating crop parasite witchweed. The new study shows that both parasitic and non-parasitic plants can detect and react to a class of organic compounds called quinones. While parasitic plants sense quinones in their prey and use it to invade, quinones trigger defensive responses in non-parasitic plants that can protect them from bacteria and other microbes.
Agricultural system is the major source of greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Application of polymer-coated urea and urease and/or nitrification inhibitor has the potential in reducing soil N2O emissions.
Imagine working on a jigsaw puzzle with so many pieces that even the edges seem indistinguishable from others at the puzzle’s centre. The solution seems nearly impossible. And, to make matters worse, this puzzle is in a futuristic setting where the pieces are not only numerous, but ever-changing. In fact, you not only must solve the puzzle, but parse out how each piece brings the picture wholly into focus.
Representing some of the most troublesome agricultural weeds, waterhemp, smooth pigweed, and Palmer amaranth impact crop production systems across the U.S. and elsewhere with ripple effects felt by economies worldwide. In a landmark study, scientists have published the most comprehensive genome information to date for all three species, marking a new era of scientific discovery toward potential solutions.
The evolution of novel features – traits such as wings or eyes – helps organisms make the most use of their environment and promotes increased diversification among species. Understanding the underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms involved in the origin of these traits is of great interest to evolutionary biologists.
All plants and animals respire, releasing energy from food. At the cellular level, this process occurs in the mitochondria. But there are differences at the molecular level between how plants and animals extract energy from food sources. Discovering those differences could help revolutionize agriculture.
A team of researchers has discovered that strigolactones, a class of novel plant hormones, mediate the fine-tuning of the production plant defensive substances in the stem of plants of the wild tobacco species Nicotiana attenuata.
A multidisciplinary, international team, has uncovered a new biochemical mechanism fundamental to plant life. Their research details the discovery of the enzymatic reaction involving carbohydrates present in plant cell walls, which are essential for their structure.
A new collaborative study describes a promising strategy to improve the nutritional benefits of crops. The work proposes the controlled transformation of chloroplasts (organelles that conduct the photosynthesis in leaves) into chromoplasts (organelles specialized in producing and storing large amounts of carotenoids). Free of substances harmful to the environment, this technology has been patented and opens new perspectives for the nutritional improvement (biofortification) of crops and for the sustainable production of carotenoids of interest to the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries.
Researchers have discovered a new role for a well-known plant molecule, providing the first clear example of ACC acting as a likely plant hormone. Researchers show that ACC has a critical role in pollination and seed production by activating proteins similar to those in human and animal nervous systems. Findings could change textbooks and open the door for research to improve plant health and crop yield.