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Genomic atlas of gene switches in plants provides roadmap for crop research PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 30 June 2013 15:32

Canadian-led study will help scientists identify key genomic regions in canola, other food plants

What allows certain plants to survive freezing and thrive in the Canadian climate, while others are sensitive to the slightest drop in temperature? Those that flourish activate specific genes at just the right time -- but the way gene activation is controlled remains poorly understood.

Multi-toxin biotech crops not silver bullets, scientists warn PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 31 March 2013 12:47

Crucial assumptions underlying multi-toxin crops don't always apply, a University of Arizona study shows. The results help explain why one major pest is evolving resistance faster than predicted and offer ideas for more sustainable pest control.

Researchers Find Novel Way Plants Pass Traits to Next Generation PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 21:51

Jay HollickInheritance Behavior in Corn Breaks Accepted Rules of Genetics

COLUMBUS, Ohio – New research explains how certain traits can pass down from one generation to the next – at least in plants – without following the accepted rules of genetics.

Scientists complete most comprehensive genetic analysis yet of corn PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 June 2012 23:10

Genetic analysis could help meet nutrition needs of growing population.

An interdisciplinary team, led by researchers at Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), today published the most comprehensive analysis to date of the corn genome.

Mesquite trees displacing Southwestern grasslands PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 March 2012 19:18

Mesquite trees and woody shrubs are better adapted than grasslands to a Southwestern climate predicted to shift toward higher temperatures and greater variability in rainfall, UA ecologists have discovered

Work sheds new light on medicinal benefits of plants PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 December 2011 05:41

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2011) Scientists from institutions around the nation and the world have collaborated to develop new resources poised to unlock yet another door in the hidden garden of medicinally important compounds found in plants.

Plant growth affected by tea seed powder PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 04:23

Natural growth regulator found to increase or decrease growth, depending on application

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK—Natural products marketed as plant growth enhancers are becoming increasingly sought-after. Many of these products, typically produced by small companies with limited research capabilities, have not been tested in farm trials, nor have claims about product effectiveness been documented by scientific data. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen investigated the growth regulatory effect of Tea Seed Powder (TSP), a saponin-rich waste product from tea seed (Camellia sp.) oil production. The results of research appeared in the HortScience.

Humans Can Unwittingly Bring Alien Plant Species to Svalbard PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 05:08

New research shows that humans can unwittingly bring alien plant species to Svalbard. Increased travel activity and expected temperature increases over the next decades, may make the establishment of new plant species in the archipelago's vulnerable ecosystem possible. This calls for a closer look at the management policy for travelling to Svalbard.

Dramatic diversity of columbine flowers explained by a simple change in cell shape PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 00:51

To match pollinators' probing tongues, cells in floral spurs elongate, driving rapid speciation 

Cambridge, Mass. - November 15, 2011 - Columbine flowers are recognizable by the long, trailing nectar spurs that extend from the bases of their petals, tempting the taste buds of their insect pollinators.

Strawberries Protect the Stomach from Alcohol, Rat Experiments Suggest PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 October 2011 05:05 an experiment on rats, European researchers have proved that eating strawberries reduces the harm that alcohol can cause to the stomach mucous membrane. Published in the open access journal PLoS ONE, the study may contribute to improving the treatment of stomach ulcers.

Plants moderate climate warming PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 April 2013 22:01

As temperatures warm, plants release gases that help form clouds and cool the atmosphere, according to research from IIASA and the University of Helsinki.

The new study, published in Nature Geoscience, identified a negative feedback loop in which higher temperatures lead to an increase in concentrations of natural aerosols that have a cooling effect on the atmosphere.

Making Do with More: Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Engineer Plant Cell Walls to Boost Sugar Yields for Biofuels PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 31 March 2013 12:43

When blessed with a resource in overwhelming abundance it’s generally a good idea to make valuable use of that resource. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant organic material on Earth. For thousands of years it has been used as animal feed, and for the past two centuries has been a staple of the paper industry. This abundant resource, however, could also supply the sugars needed to produce advanced biofuels that can supplement or replace fossil fuels, providing several key technical challenges are met. One of these challenges is finding ways to more cost-effectively extract those sugars. Major steps towards achieving this breakthrough are being taken by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI).

Study provides insights into plant evolution PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 March 2013 21:42

New research has uncovered a mechanism that regulates the reproduction of plants, providing a possible tool for engineering higher yielding crops.

In a study published today in Science, researchers from Monash University and collaborators in Japan and the US, identified for the first time a particular gene that regulates the transition between stages of the life cycle in land plants.

Salk scientists discover how plants grow to escape shade PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 April 2012 22:03

Findings could lead to high-yield crops that gather light more efficiently and make better use of farmland.

LA JOLLA, CA ---- Mild mannered though they seem, plants are extremely competitive, especially when it comes to getting their fair share of sunlight. Whether a forest or a farm, where plants grow a battle wages for the sun's rays.

New tool offers unprecedented access for root studies PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 07:17

Stanford, CA— Plant roots are fascinating plant organs – they not only anchor the plant, but are also the world's most efficient mining companies. Roots live in darkness and direct the activities of the other organs, as well as interact with the surrounding environment. Charles Darwin posited in The Power of Movement of Plants that the root system acts as a plant's brain.

Salt-tolerant crops show higher capacity for carbon fixation PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 05:18

Tomato, watermelon prove most efficient at CO2 accumulation

MURCIA, SPAIN—Salt can have drastic effects on the growth and yield of horticultural crops; studies have estimated that salinity renders an about one-third of the world's irrigated land unsuitable for crop production. Imbalances in soil salinity can cause ion toxicity, osmotic stress, mineral deficiencies, and drastic physiological and biochemical changes in plants. Salt stress can even cause plants to adjust their water usage—to conserve water, some plants close their stomata, thus restricting the entry of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the leaf and reducing photosynthesis.

How drought-tolerant grasses came to be PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 November 2011 03:42

New grass family tree reveals C4 photosynthesis is an evolutionary 1-way street 

or grain-fed turkey this Thanksgiving, give thanks to the grasses — a family of plants that includes wheat, oats, corn and rice. Some grasses, such as corn and sugar cane, have evolved a unique way of harvesting energy from the sun that's more efficient in hot, arid conditions. A new grass family tree reveals how this mode of photosynthesis came to be.

Herbicide may affect plants thought to be resistant PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 23 November 2011 04:32

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University researchers have discovered a fine-tuning mechanism involved in plant root growth that has them questioning whether a popular herbicide may have unintended consequences, causing some plants to need more water or nutrients.

Forests not keeping pace with climate change PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 05:58

DURHAM, N.C. -- More than half of eastern U.S. tree species examined in a massive new Duke University-led study aren't adapting to climate change as quickly or consistently as predicted.

"Many models have suggested that trees will migrate rapidly to higher latitudes and elevations in response to warming temperatures, but evidence for a consistent, climate-driven northward migration is essentially absent in this large analysis," says James S. Clark, H.L. Blomquist Professor of Environment at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.

New Study Finds 400,000 Farmers in Southern Africa Using 'Fertilizer Trees' to Improve Food Security PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 October 2011 20:59
On a continent battered by weather extremes, famine and record food prices, new research released October 14 from the World Agroforestry Centre documents an exciting new trend in which hundreds of thousands of poor farmers in Southern Africa are now significantly boosting yields and incomes simply by using fast growing trees and shrubs to naturally fertilize their fields.
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