Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have identified unique lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferases as being the central enzymes for triacylglycerol synthesis by oleaginous alga Nannochloropsis, thus uncovering the mechanisms of biofuel production in microalgae.
A special structure for storing energy known as a supercapacitor has been constructed in a plant for the first time. The plant, a rose, can be charged and discharged hundreds of times. This breakthrough is the result of research at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Linköping University.
Expert ecologists at the UK-based Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have devised a scientific model which could help predict the spread of the deadly Xylella fastidiosa which is threatening to destroy Europe's olive trees. The CEH scientists have created a model which is able to qualitatively and quantitatively predict how the deadly bacterial pathogen may spread as well as offer guidance on how buffer zones should be arranged to protect uninfected olive trees.
Waterhemp, a common agricultural weed, has become increasingly resistant to atrazine and other herbicides. Waterhemp uses a class of enzymes known as GSTs to detoxify herbicides, but the exact GST responsible for atrazine resistance was not known until recently. University of Illinois researchers used molecular methods to identify a gene for GST-based atrazine resistance. Knowledge of the gene will allow for easier diagnosis and could lead to the development of more targeted control options.
Spring is coming sooner to some plant species in the low Arctic of Greenland, while other species are delaying their emergence amid warming winters. The changes are associated with diminishing sea ice cover, according to a study published in the journal Biology Letters and led by the University of California, Davis.
Soybeans with resistance to soybean cyst nematodes seem to have a yield advantage compared to susceptible varieties when SCN is present. Until now, scientists did not know what level of SCN infestation is needed to achieve the yield advantage. A new University of Illinois study shows that SCN resistance from the soybean accession PI 88788 offers yield advantages even at very low infestation rates.
Scientists at the University of York and University College Cork have investigated how cultural records dating back 300 years could help improve understanding of the ways in which science interprets the many uses of woodland areas.
Plant populations in wetland areas face increasing isolation as wetlands are globally under threat from habitat loss and fragmentation. Erik Kleyheeg and Merel Soons of Utrecht University show that the daily movement behaviour of wintering mallards is highly predictable from the landscape they live in and that their daily flights contribute to maintaining the connections between wetland plant populations across increasingly fragmented landscapes.
Forests around the world are at risk of death due to widespread drought, University of Stirling researchers have found.
A study published in the journal PLOS ONE says that between 1990 and 2000, the average distance from any point in the United States to the nearest forest increased by 14 percent. The distance can present challenges for wildlife and have broad effects on ecosystems.