Plants grow in two directions: the shoots of plants grow toward the light to make the best use of it, and the roots grow toward the center of the earth into the soil. A team has now been able to describe in detail how the molecular mechanisms work that control these processes.
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.
The species diversity and relationships of lichens in the genus Leptogium, which are often very difficult to identify to species, were assessed on the basis of DNA analyses using a large dataset collected during almost 10 years from East Africa.
How “elicitors” can initiate defense responses in plants against herbivores, and can potentially lead to development of pesticide-free agriculture.
Researchers have developed biosensors that make it possible to monitor sugar levels in real time deep in the plant tissues – something that has previously been impossible. The information from the sensors may help agriculture to adapt production as the world faces climate change.
Plant-specific WOX family transcription factors play important roles ranging from embryogenesis to lateral organ development. The WOX1 transcription factors, which belong to the modern clade of the WOX family, are known to regulate outgrowth of the leaf blade specifically in the mediolateral axis; however, the role of WOX1 in compound leaf development remains unknown.
People often thing of flowers as a bright and showy splash of contrasting colors. But some plant species actually produce two types of flowers: normal ones with a colorful appearance, and “runts” that are small, never open. Why do some plants produce small and unattractive flowers? Two researchers think they’ve figured out why, supporting a hypothesis dating back 150 years to Charles Darwin.
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.