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plant physiology Archives - The Global Plant Council

How plants stabilize their water pipes

By | Plant Science, Research

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.

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The larva of a tobacco hawkmoth Manduca sexta on a wild tobacco leaf

How plants produce defensive toxins without harming themselves

By | News, Plant Health, Plant Science

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.

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The regulatory network of sugar and organic acid in watermelon fruit is revealed

By | Agriculture, Fruits and Vegetables, News, Plant Science

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.

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A plant’s way to its favorite food

By | News, Plant Science

Nitrogen is one the most essential nutrients for plants. Its availability in the soil plays a major role in plant growth and development, thereby affecting agricultural productivity. Scientists were now able to show, how plants adjust their root growth to varying sources of nitrogen. In a new study they give insights in the molecular pathways of roots adaptation.

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When plants attack: parasitic plants use ethylene as a host invasion signal

By | JSPB, News, Plant Health, Plant Science

To develop a successful parasitic relationship, parasitic plants form a specialized structure, the haustorium which attaches to and invades the host plant. The formation of haustoria is regulated by signal molecules derived from the host plant and allows the parasitic plant to absorb water, nutrients, and small materials from the host plant. Now, researchers find that the plant hormone ethylene mediates the invasion of hosts by parasitic plants

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A red future for improving crop production?

By | Australian National University, News

Researchers have found a way to engineer more efficient versions of the plant enzyme Rubisco by using a red-algae-like Rubisco from a bacterium. For 50 years scientists have striven to boost the activity of Rubisco, a promising target to increase crop production, as it controls how much and how fast plants fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into sugars and energy during photosynthesis.

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E. coli bacteria offer path to improving photosynthesis

By | ASPB, News, Plant Science, Research

Scientists have engineered a key plant enzyme and introduced it in Escherichia coli bacteria in order to create an optimal experimental environment for studying how to speed up photosynthesis, a holy grail for improving crop yields. Scientists have known that crop yields would increase if they could accelerate the photosynthesis process, where plants convert carbon dioxide (CO2), water and light into oxygen and eventually into sucrose, a sugar used for energy and for building new plant tissue.

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