For research, plants are frequently grown under stable lighting, which does not reflect natural conditions. In a series of experiments with changing light conditions, simulating the natural interplay of light and shadow, researchers reveal the importance of two key proteins for the dynamic control of photosynthesis.
In plants, the cells that form the internal structure of leaves start out as tightly compacted spheres in the early stages of leaf development. As the leaf develops and expands, these cells take on new shapes and loosen up. Yet the leaf’s microstructure remains robust and intact.
A research team has measured the dynamic leakiness of CO2 from C4 plants. Previous studies had measured the leakiness under steady-state conditions, but this group took the measurements to prove that leakiness can and should be measured as a dynamic parameter.
Plant leaves can cope with much higher salt concentrations than roots. The underlying mechanism may help to develop more salt-tolerant crops. When there is a lack of water, heat or intensive irrigation, the level of common salt (sodium chloride) in the soil increases. However, most crops are sensitive to salt. They react to the increasing soil salinity by greatly reducing their growth. This leads to a reduction in the harvest.
When we think of plants, the phrase “stressed out” doesn’t typically come to mind. They are, after all, exempt from paying bills and tackling existential questions. However, environmental changes—both living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic)—generate significant stressors for plants. New methods to improve plant tolerance and immunity amid climate change are therefore critical.
A team of scientists developed a theory that thylakoids, membrane networks key to plant photosynthesis, also function as a defense mechanism to harsh growing conditions, which could aid the development of hardier plants.
In a new study researchers took a deeper look into how plants control the growth of the important cells that allow them to convert sunlight into chemical energy.