Only a small share of Congolese villagers is the driving force behind most of the deforestation. They're not felling trees to feed their families, but to increase their quality of life. These findings are based on fieldwork by bioscience engineer Pieter Moonen from KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium. They indicate that international programmes aiming to slow down tropical deforestation are not sufficiently taking local farmers into account.
A new paper from scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich explains why plant breeders have found it difficult to produce wheat varieties which combine high yield and good resistance to Septoria, a disease in wheat which can cut yield losses by up to 50 percent. It traces the problem back to decisions made nearly 60 years ago.
In research published today in Science, an international team of researchers led by scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China, and the University of California, Los Angeles, have uncovered the mechanisms through which cryptochrome 2 -- a key photoreceptor that allows plants to respond to blue light -- is switched on and off, allowing plants to remain responsive to light.
A UCLA-led international team of life scientists reports the discovery of new mechanisms regulating plant growth that quite possibly provide new insights into how the mammalian biological clock affects human health.
In 2015, a Nobel Prize was awarded in part for the discovery of artemisinin, a plant-derived compound that's proven to be a lifesaver in treating malaria. Yet many people who need the drug are not able to access it, in part because it's difficult to grow the plant that's the compound's source. Now, research has shown that tobacco plants can be engineered to manufacture the drug at therapeutic levels. The study appears in Molecular Plant.
Algae with altered intracellular signaling have increased oil yields.
Researchers used low-dose applications of a surfactant film coating (SFC) in experiments with two species of turfgrass. Perennial ryegrass density, cover, and aboveground biomass from the SFC were ≈47%, 48%, and 46% greater than untreated seed, respectively. Tall fescue density, cover, and aboveground biomass from the SFC seeds were ≈22%, 23%, and 28% greater than untreated seed, respectively. The study demonstrated that SFC can promote seed germination and enhance turfgrass establishment under deficit irrigation.
In analyses of 13 flowering pear triploids, relative female fertility was significantly reduced, ranging from 0.0% to 33.6%. Five accessions had a relative fertility of <2%. Cytometric analysis of seeds and seedlings from triploid maternal parents showed that they were predominantly abnormal aneuploids, typically resulting in seedlings with reduced fitness and fertility. The results indicate that selection of infertile cultivars can be a viable approach to reducing unwanted reseeding in flowering pear.
A new agricultural robot with technology which has the potential to change the landscape of arable farming is being field-tested at the University of Lincoln, UK.
In Canada, growing industrial hemp was legalized in 1998. Eighteen years later, producers still face many challenges.