In a step toward producing renewable engine fuels that are compatible with existing diesel fuel infrastructure, researchers report they can convert wet biowaste, such as swine manure and food scraps, into a fuel that can be blended with diesel and that shares diesel's combustion efficiency and emissions profile.
Researchers from CIRAD and INRA recently showed that inactivating a gene, RECQ4, leads to a three-fold increase in recombination in crops such as rice, pea and tomato. The gene inhibits the exchange of genetic material via recombination (crossover) during the sexual reproduction process in crops. This discovery, published in the journal Nature Plants on Nov. 16, 2018, could speed up plant breeding and development of varieties better suited to specific environmental conditions (disease resistance, adaptation to climate change).
Phloem diseases, including the economically devastating citrus greening, are particularly difficult to study because phloem cells -- essential for plant nutrient transport -- are difficult to access and isolate. Researchers at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center have developed a technique to identify phloem cells using fluorescent microscopy and organelle-specific dyes that is applicable in a variety of phloem diseases across a range of species.
Fires that contribute to deforestation spiked six-fold in Colombia in the year after an historic 2016 peace agreement ended decades of conflict between FARC guerrilla and government forces, according to a study in Nature Ecology & Evolution. "This dramatic increase from trends in the last decade will boost the likelihood of deforestation in protected areas in the upcoming year," said study co-author Laura C. Schneider, an associate professor in the Department of Geography at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
Global warming increases frost damage on trees in large areas of Central Europe, according to a new Finnish-Chinese study. Late frost damages are economically important in agriculture and forestry. In certain years, they are known to have caused losses amounting to up to hundreds of millions of euros.
Leading scientists call for action to increase global soil carbon, in advance of the annual climate summit of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) and World Soil Day (December 5).
Researchers from the University of Sydney have developed a new X-ray method which involves solving a giant 3D Sudoku problem to better understand these granular movements -- and the findings could have a big impact on various industries.
Hazelnuts, like olive oil, cheese and other agricultural products, differ in flavor depending on their geographic origin. Because consumers and processors are willing to pay more for better nuts -- especially in fine chocolates and other delicacies -- testing methods are needed to reliably authenticate the nuts' country of origin. Researchers now report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that NMR analysis could fill the bill.
An international team led by researchers at the University of Manchester have discovered why some plants 'live fast and die young' whilst others have long and healthy lives.
In the Loess Plateau region of northwestern China, potato is the main food crop. However, the area has a dry climate with uneven precipitation. Researchers are finding the best combination of tillage and mulching practices to increase yield.