To describe something as slow and boring we say it’s “like watching grass grow”, but scientists studying the early morning activity of plants have found they make a rapid start to their day – within minutes of dawn.
Plants contain several types of specialized light-sensitive proteins that measure light by changing shape upon light absorption. Chief among these are the phytochromes. Phytochromes help plants detect light direction, intensity and duration; the time of day; whether it is the beginning, middle or end of a season; and even the color of light, which is important for avoiding shade from other plants. Remarkably, phytochromes also help plants detect temperature.
Passing down a healthy genome is a critical part of creating viable offspring. But what happens when you have harmful modifications in your genome that you don’t want to pass down? Baby plants have evolved a method to wipe the slate clean and reinstall only the modifications that they need to grow and develop. Now researchers discovered one of the genes responsible for reinstalling modifications in a baby plant’s genome.
A grass commonly used to fight soil erosion has been genetically modified to successfully remove toxic chemicals left in the ground from munitions that are dangerous to human health, new research shows.
Plant scientists say circadian clock genes, which enable plants to measure daily and seasonal rhythms, should be targeted in agriculture and crop breeding for higher yields and more sustainable farming.
Researchers find that plant root tips are constrained to a dome shape, similar to that of an arched bridge, because of one-directional and localized tissue growth.