Researchers have identified a receptor on plant stem cells that can issue different instructions about how to grow. Tweaking this pathway can lead to bigger fruits or more seeds in important food crops.
Bioinformatics specialists from the University of Würzburg have studied a specific class of hormones which is relevant for plants, bacteria and indirectly for humans, too. Their results challenge previous scientific assumptions.
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have discovered that as plants develop they craft their root microbiome, favoring microbes that consume very specific metabolites. Their study could help scientists identify ways to enhance the soil microbiome for improved carbon storage and plant productivity.
You really can extract clean drinking water right from the air, even in the driest of deserts, MIT researchers have found. They've demonstrated a real-world version of a water-harvesting system based on metal organic frameworks, or MOFs, that they first described last year.
Discovery of why two of the most economically important bee species are immune to one neonicotinoid insecticide but not to others promises to yield chemical treatments that protect crops from pests without harming these essential pollinators, honeybees and bumblebees. Bee pollinators are equipped with biochemical defence systems, in the form of specific enzymes, that define their sensitivity to insecticides by enabling them to metabolise the chemicals safely, report an international team of researchers.
Efforts to create pesticides that are not toxic to bees have been boosted by a scientific breakthrough.
Biological rhythms are ubiquitous in nature, from the beating of the heart to the rhythms of flowering plants. A research team led by the Spanish researcher, Paloma Mas, has shown that the two main cellular oscillators -- the circadian clock and the cell cycle -- are closely connected. The study demonstrates that the circadian clock controls the speed of the cell cycle, regulating the cell division and growth in synchronization with the day and night cycles.
The orchid species Gastrodia pubilabiata mimics rotting mushrooms or fermented fruit, and is pollinated by fruit flies who mistakenly lay their eggs in its flowers. If there are rotting mushrooms near the orchid, its pollination rate increases. As well as using mushrooms to attract insect pollinators, G. pubilabiata survives by absorbing nutrients from the fungal hyphae of mushrooms. This is the first time a plant has been discovered to depend on mushrooms both above and below ground.
You've probably heard that the safety of neonicotinoid pesticides to bees is a matter of considerable controversy. However, neonicotinoids show varying toxicity to bees. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on March 22 have new evidence in honeybees and bumble bees that helps to explain why bees differ in their sensitivity to different neonicotinoids.
The face of American forests is changing, thanks to climate change-induced shifts in rainfall and temperature that are causing shifts in the abundance of numerous tree species, according to a new paper by University of Florida researchers.