Amongst the world’s most challenging problems is the need to feed an ever-growing global population sustainably. Securing the food supply is of paramount importance, and more attention must be given to the threat from fungal pathogens competing with us for our own crops.
Producing fewer sperm cells can be advantageous in self-fertilizing plants. An international study has identified a gene in the model plant Arabidopsis that reduces the number of pollen. In addition to supporting the evolutionary theory, these findings could help to optimize plant breeding and domestication in agriculture.
A team of scientists has developed a way to potentially thwart the spread of a disease-causing bacterium that harms more than 100 plant species worldwide, an advance that could save the nursery industry billions a year.
Some plants, like soybean, are known to possess an innate defense machinery that helps them develop resistance against insects trying to feed on them. However, exactly how these plants recognize signals from insects has been unknown until now. Scientists uncover how oral secretions of the cotton leaf worm trigger defense responses in a plant.
As a plant grows, it moves cellular material from its version of manufacturing sites to the cell wall construction zone. Transporter proteins, called motor proteins, are thought to move these cell wall cargo via a complex highway system made up of microtubule tracks. The position of these tracks must be stabilized so that cargo are delivered to the correct locations.
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth. Although this has long been common knowledge, scientists have only recently described the mechanism in detail. With biotechnology, this knowledge could now help make agriculture more sustainable.
How do plants know when it is time to flower? Researchers have studied this question and identified two genes that are key to this process. They were able to show that the ELF3 and GI genes control the internal clock of the plants that monitors the length of daylight and determine when it is the right time to flower.
High-throughput analyses of small substances in Nicotiana attenuata reveal that plants re-organize their metabolism to produce highly-specific defense metabolites after insect attack
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the genome of a single-celled alga that belongs to the closest lineage to terrestrial plants and provides many clues to how aquatic plants first colonized land.
The effective management of plant diseases is of fundamental importance for forestry, food, and other plant-derived product productions, as well as for the sustainability of natural environments. Changing global climate patterns and the trade of planting materials across the borders are causing plant pathogens to rapidly move and evolve. That is plant pathogens, are changing their behavior, survival, reproduction, and mode of action in the host plants.