Plants adapt to their nutritional needs by modifying the permeability of their roots through the production or degradation of a cork-like layer called suberin. By studying the regulation of this protective layer in Arabidopsis thaliana, an international team, has discovered four molecular factors responsible for the genetic activation of suberin.
Chicory is a beautiful plant with blue flowers, but the interesting part is in the ground: the chicory taproots are a source of inulin, a natural sweetener that is used in bread and dairy products and as dietary fibre for healthy intestinal function. Researchers have now used a new breeding techniques to develop a chicory variety that no longer contains bitter compounds.
A study into the energy-making process in plants could help engineer crops more resistant to stress or bacteria that produce pharmaceuticals.
Velloziaceae is a monocot family that is made up of five genera and c. 250 species with a disjunct distribution in Africa mainland, Madagascar, Arabian Peninsula, China and South America. They are recognized as the largest lineage of vascular plants that can tolerate desiccation, hence are resurrection plants.
What do frog eggs have in common with anti-aging creams? Their success depends on a group of chemical compounds called retinoids, which are capable of generating and re-generating tissues.
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.
Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) is a widely cultivated forage with excellent quality, high yield, good palatability and rich nutritional value. However, its growth is inhibited by salt tress, which is a major growth limiting factor.
New techniques allow live-observation of forming cell walls in the vascular tissue. The so-called xylem, also known as wood, is a network of hollow cells with extremely strong cell walls that reinforce the cells against the mechanical conflicts arising from growing tall. These walls wrap around the cells in filigree band and spiral patterns. So far, it is only partly known, how these patterns are created. Scientists recently study the formation of such reinforced and patterned cell walls.
Plants produce toxic substances to defend themselves against herbivores. In a new study, scientists were able to describe in detail the biosynthesis and exact mode of action of an important group of defensive substances, the diterpene glycosides, in wild tobacco plants. Diterpene glycosides allow plants to fend off herbivores. The study shows that these plant chemicals attack certain parts of the cell membrane.
The sensory quality of watermelon fruit is determined by the content of sugar and organic acid, which determines the taste of watermelon during the development and maturation of watermelon fruit. The changes of sugar and organic acid during the watermelon fruit development were analyzed and the key gene networks controlling the metabolism of sugar and organic acid during the fruit development were identified.