A first complete genome map of einkorn reveals evolutionary origins and potential for enhanced wheat breeding. It could help farmers and crop breeders to develop bread wheat varieties with enhanced disease resistance, higher yields and improved hardiness.
Plant species become exotic after being accidentally or deliberately transported by humans to a new region outside their native range, where they establish self-perpetuating populations that quickly reproduce and spread. This is a complex process mediated by many factors, such as plant traits and genetics, which challenges the creation of general guidelines to predict or manage plant invasions.
New knowledge of ancient grain may enable breeding for climate change adaptation. An international team of researchers has unlocked a large-scale genomic analysis of Setaria or foxtail millet, an important cereal crop. The study advances our understanding of the domestication and evolution of foxtail millet, as well as the genetic basis for important agricultural traits.
Scientists have warned of the ‘devastating’ impact that fungal disease in crops will have on global food supply unless agencies across the world come together to find new ways to combat infection. Worldwide, growers lose between 10 and 23 per cent of their crops to fungal infection each year, despite widespread use of antifungals. An additional 10-20 per cent is lost post harvest. Academics predict those figures will worsen as global warming means fungal infections are steadily moving polewards, meaning more countries are likely to see a higher prevalence of fungal infections damaging harvests.
An international team of researchers has fully sequenced the genome of a climate resilient bean that could bolster food security in drought-prone regions.
Over the past few decades, it has become obvious that climate change, and consequent extreme weather events, can wreak havoc on crop yields. Concerningly, there is a large disparity in agricultural vulnerability between developed and developing countries. In a new study, researchers have looked at major food grains in India to understand the long- and short-term effects of climate change on crop yields.
Anthropogenic climate change has, together with the intensive use and destruction of natural ecosystems through agriculture, fishing and industry, sparked an unprecedented loss of biodiversity that continues to worsen. In this regard, the climate crisis and biodiversity crisis are often viewed as two separate catastrophes. An international team of researchers calls for adopting a new perspective. In their review study they recommend (in addition to complying with the 1.5-degree target) protecting and restoring at least 30 percent of all land, freshwater and marine zones, establishing a network of interconnected protected areas, and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration between political institutions, which often operate independently.
Researchers got into the forests on the island of Dominica after 9 months of the Category 5 Hurricane Maria and examined the trees closely. They discovered that while 89% of the trees sustained damage — 76% of which had major damage —only 10% were immediately killed. Many of the trees had resprouted.
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.