The conversion of energy from the sun into biochemical energy by plants and other photosynthetically competent organisms drives and sustains life on the earth. While the ability to perform photosynthesis provides autotrophic growth, it can be a double-edged sword.
The tropics hold most of the planet’s biodiversity. In order to preserve this fragile and valuable asset, many individuals and communities need to get involved and be well informed. However, tropical ecology and conservation sciences are still often affected by colonialistic and discriminatory practices, which can hamper nature conservation success. An international research team from leading universities in tropical research has now proposed how researchers from the Global South, which consists of nations historically damaged by colonialism, could better promote solutions for a sustainable development.
Doing research outside of the lab is important to career advancement in scientific fields like ecology, geology and paleontology, but it comes with a host of unique challenges. That’s why a team developed a guide for making fieldwork safer and more equitable, especially for researchers from marginalized groups.
Live imaging of microbes in soil would help scientists understand how soil microbial processes occur on the scale of micrometers, where microbial cells interact with minerals, organic matter, plant roots and other microorganisms. Because the soil environment is both heterogeneous and dynamic, these interactions may vary substantially within a small area and over short timescales.
Angiosperms may be distinguished from their gymnosperm peers by their flowers, and thus a flower is a good proxy of fossil angiosperms. However, flowers and their parts are usually too frail to be preserved in the fossil, which makes the origin of angiosperms and their flowers the foci of controversy. Recently, researchers reported a fossil flower bud, Florigerminis jurassica gen. et sp. nov., from the Jurassic in Inner Mongolia, China. This is the earliest fossil record of flower buds in the world so far.
valuable trait. Some major examples of crops with these so-called “transgenes” include disease-resistant cotton and beta-carotene-enhanced golden rice. However, when foreign DNA is introduced into a host organism, a natural defensive response in plants is to repress or silence the expression of the unfamiliar genetic material. This “silencing,” a process known to involve DNA methylation, is a multimillion-dollar problem in the global agricultural improvement industry.
To enable fast, efficient and cost effective bioengineering of plants, new tools and methods to deliver the genetic material into plant cells are increasingly being researched. Nanoparticles assisted delivery of biomolecules is one such under explored tool for their application in plant system.
Ask a farmer, a scientist, and a conservation professional to define soil health, and you might come up with three rather different answers. That mismatch may be at the root of lower-than-ideal adoption of soil conservation practices, according to a new study.