Minuscule tunnels through the cell membrane help cells to perceive and respond to mechanical forces, such as pressure or touch. A new study is among the first to directly investigate what one type of these mechanosensitive ion channels is doing in the tip-growing cells in moss and pollen tubes of flowering plants, and how.
Researchers have shown that soil microbes – microscopic organisms like viruses, bacteria and fungi found throughout nature – play a role in the phenomenon of heterosis or “hybrid vigor,” the superior performance of crossed plant lines, or hybrids, over inbred plant lines. Hybrids are often used by farmers for agricultural production due their superior crop yields.
The discovery of a pH switch in Arabidopsis is remarkable for understanding the plant’s response to pH and pH-dependent nutrient limitations. This study marks an important step forward in the search for pH sensors in plants, and sets the stage for applied research in the near future.
Manipulating RNA can allow plants to yield dramatically more crops, as well as increasing drought tolerance, announced a group of scientists recently.
A new study shows that duplication events have been vitally important throughout the evolutionary history of gymnosperms, a diverse group of seed plants that includes pines, cypresses, sequoias, ginkgos and cycads. The research indicates that a genome duplication in the ancestor of modern gymnosperms might have directly contributed to the origin of the group over 350 million years ago.
As temperatures rise, the risk of devastating forest fires is increasing. Researchers are using artificial intelligence to estimate the long-term impact that an increased number of forest fires will have on forest ecosystems. Their simulations show how Yellowstone National Park in the USA could change by the end of the century.
A research team has investigated how people in five different countries react to various usages of genome editing in agriculture. The researchers looked at which uses are accepted and how the risks and benefits of the new breeding technologies are rated by people.
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.