Plant resources threaten by pests and diseases

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Imagine a world where farms bear no crops, forests have no trees and nature exists without plants. Not only will our world look incredibly different, but humanity would likely cease to exist altogether. Plants provide 98% of the air we breathe and 80% of the food we eat. That’s how much … Read more

Three-dimensional fossil algae more than 541 million years old reveal a modern-looking ancestry of the plant kingdom

Reconstruction of a cross-section through Protocodium sinense, showing likeness to modern Codium. Credit: Shu Chai Paleontologists have identified a new genus and species of algae called Protocodium sinense that predates the origin of land plants and modern animals and provides new insight into the early diversification of the plant kingdom. Discovered at a site in … Read more

Study on plant enzyme shows that proteins can change their structural arrangement with surprising ease

A comparison of rubisco assemblies from different species, illustrating a wide range of structures including a dimer, tetramer, hexamer, octamer, and hexadecamer (16 unit protein). Credit: Shih Lab/Berkeley Lab When you think of proteins—the enzymes, signaling molecules, and structural components in every living thing—you might think of single strands of amino acids, organized like beads … Read more

Unearthing the secrets of plant health and carbon storage with rhizosphere-on-a-chip

Scientists at ORNL have created a rhizosphere-on-a-chip research platform, a miniaturized environment to study the ecosystem around poplar tree roots for insights into plant health and soil carbon sequestration. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, US Dept. of Energy Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a miniaturized environment to study the ecosystem … Read more

Data on plant ‘sweating’ could help predict wildfire incision

Smoke rises from the Bobcat Fire, which burned more than 115,000 acres (46,539 hectares) in Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains in 2020. In the months before the fire, NASA’s ECOSTRESS passed over the area aboard the International Space Station, collecting data on plant water use. Credit: NASA A new study uses data from the ECOSTRESS … Read more

Team discovers new plant gene reprogramming mechanism

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Researchers Albert Cairó and Karel Riha of the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) and their colleagues have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that is responsible for reprogramming gene expression in plants during the transition period when one cell differentiates into another one. The mechanism occurs at the end of meiosis, … Read more

Above-ground microbial communities that quell plant diseases can be developed

CC 1.0” width=”386″ height=”530″/> A tomato plant leaf infected with bacterial speck, the disease caused by P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Credit: Alan Collmer, Cornell University/Wikimedia Commons, CC 1.0 Microbial communities naturally living on the leaves and stems of tomato plants can be manipulated to suppress diseases that reduce productivity, according to Penn State researchers, … Read more

LA needs 90,000 trees to battle extreme heat. Will residents step up to plant them?

Credit: CC0 Public Domain In 2019, Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled an ambitious plans to plant 90,000 in Los Angeles by 2021 as part of LA’s Green New Deal. To accomplish this, he appointed the city’s first forest officer, Rachel Malarich, to head the Urban Forestry Division, and authorized a network of nonprofits and “community ambassadors” … Read more

International team visualizes properties of plant cell walls at nanoscale

Scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy, a nondestructive technique in which the tip of the probe of a microscope scatters pulses of light to generate a picture of a sample, allowed the team to obtain insights into the composition of plant cell walls. Credit: Ali Passian/ORNL, US Dept. of Energy To optimize biomaterials for reliable, cost-effective … Read more

Antagonistic interactions of plant defense compounds

Tobacco hornworm larvae (Manduca sexta) on a Nicotiana attenuata plant. Credit: Danny Kessler, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology A combined defense of different chemical defense substances could result in a negative interaction and mutual detoxification, according to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in a new study, appearing in Proceedings of … Read more