With increasing demand for food from the planet's growing population and climate change threatening the stability of food systems across the world, University of Minnesota research examined how the diversity of crops at the national level could increase the harvest stability of all crops in a nation.
Beekeepers across the United States lost 40.7% of their honey bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019, according to preliminary results of the latest annual nationwide survey conducted by the University of Maryland-led nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership. The survey results indicate winter losses of 37.7%, which is the highest winter loss reported since the survey began 13 years ago and 8.9 percentage points higher than the survey average.
When plants absorb excess light energy during photosynthesis, reactive oxygen species are produced, potentially causing oxidative stress that damages important structures. Plants can suppress the production of reactive oxygen species by oxidizing P700 (the reaction center chlorophyll in photosystem I). A new study has revealed more about this vital process.
Accelerating plant evolution with CRISPR paves the way for breeders to engineer new crop varieties.
A UC Berkeley team with NSF funding has compiled a roadmap for the future of synthetic or engineering biology, based on the input of 80 leaders in the field from more than 30 institutions. The report provides a strong case that the federal government should invest in this area, not only to improve public health, food crops and the environment, but also to fuel the economy and maintain the country's leadership in synthetic/engineering biology.
Groundwater pumping in the last century has contributed as much as 50% to stream flow declines in some US rivers. This is the first study to examine the impact of past groundwater pumping across the entire US. Previous research examined how groundwater pumping affected surface waters, but at smaller scales. The researchers compared what US surface waters would have been like without consumptive uses with changes since large-scale groundwater pumping began in the 1950s.
We investigated the history of Japanese black tea, its decline, the manufacturing technology and the components of tea. We found that the main reasons for the revival and spread of Japanese black tea were production and manufacturing innovation. Fermentation is an especially important process because it determines tea quality. Fermentation technology was established by entrepreneurial farmers and transferred to other Japanese black tea farmers, resulting in the rapid market creation of Japanese black tea.
Plant root systems play a crucial role in ecosystems, radically impacting everything from nutrient cycling to species composition. Despite their importance, scientists are just beginning to develop the tools to understand how these complex systems are structured, how they function, and how structure and function are related. This special issue of Applications in Plant Sciences presents research from the cutting edge of root science, exploring questions from the subcellular to the ecosystem level.
If current climate and crop-improvement trends continue into the future, Midwestern corn growers who today rely on rainfall to water their crops will need to irrigate their fields, a new study finds. This could draw down aquifers, disrupt streams and rivers, and set up conflicts between agricultural and other human and ecological needs for water, scientists say.
In a paper published in Environmental Research Letters, Columbia Researcher Kyle Davis found that the yields from grains such as millet, sorghum, and maize are more resilient to extreme weather in India; their yields vary significantly less due to year-to-year changes in climate and generally experience smaller declines during droughts. But yields from rice, India's main crop, experience larger declines during extreme weather conditions.