As the world continues to warm, many arid regions that already have marginal conditions for agriculture will be increasingly under stress, potentially leading to severe food shortages. Now, researchers have come up with a promising process for protecting seeds from the stress of water shortage during their crucial germination phase, and even providing the plants with extra nutrition at the same time.
Dehydrated plant seeds can lay dormant for long periods–over 1,000 years in some species–before the availability of water can trigger germination. This protects the embryonic plant inside from a variety of environmental stresses until conditions are favorable for growth and survival. However, the mechanism by which the baby plant senses water and reactivates cellular activity has remained a mystery until now.
Biochar, a product made from urban, agriculture and forestry waste has the added benefit of reducing the carbon footprint of modern farming, an international review involving.
Despite being relatively new in China, community-led seedbanks are a valuable resource in conserving agricultural biodiversity. For the first time, researchers have provided a comprehensive summary of the services performed by 27 seedbanks across the country.
Climate change is causing increased flooding and prolonged waterlogging in northern Europe, but also in many other parts of the world. This can damage meadow grasses, field crops or other plants – their leaves die, the roots rot. he damage is caused by a lack of oxygen and the accumulation of acids. How do plants perceive this over-acidification, how do they react to it?
Almost twenty years ago, the process of RNA silencing was discovered in plants, whereby small fragments of RNA inactivate a portion of a gene during protein synthesis. These fragments–called microRNAs (abbreviated as miRNAs)–have since been shown to be essential at nearly every stage of growth and development in plants, from the production of flowers, stems, and roots to the ways plants interact with their environment and ward off infection.
Flowers come in a multitude of shapes and colors. Now, an international research team has proposed the novel hypothesis that trade-offs caused by different visitors may play an important role in shaping this floral diversity.
A research team has created a computer model to understand how plants store energy in the thylakoid membrane, a key structure to photosynthesis in plant leaves. The team confirmed the accuracy of the mathematical model with lab experiments.
Scientists have discovered how plants manage to live alongside each other in places that are dark and shady. Moderate shade or even the threat of shade – detected by phytochrome photoreceptors – causes plants to elongate to try to outgrow the competition.
An international study has revealed the structure of a membrane-remodeling protein that builds and maintains photosynthetic membranes. These fundamental insights lay the groundwork for bioengineering efforts to strengthen plants against environmental stress, helping to sustaining human food supply and fight against climate change.