A single species gave rise to 220 more and two distinct lineages of oaks -- red oaks and white oaks -- that moved through the boreal zone to populate large swaths of the continent all the way into Mexico. These two findings -- simultaneous evolutionary diversification in the red and white oaks, each following the same geographic routes; and two relatively recent origins of the Mexican oaks -- are a surprise conclusion to a scientific mystery.
Though you might not think of ants as formidable bodyguards, some do an impressive job protecting plants from enemies. Examing the relationship between the Amazon rainforest plant Cordia nodosa in Peru and the ant species Allomerus octoarticulatus, University of Toronto scientists found the degree to which the ants express two genes significantly impacts the amount of protection they provide to their hosts.
The Indonesian coral reefs, located in the so-called coral triangle, are considered amongst the richest and most biodiverse places on Earth. Surprisingly, this impressive species diversity is still poorly known. The paper, authored by an international team led by Barbara Calcinai and published in the open access journal ZooKeys, reports the presence of 94 species of sponges, including six new to science and two new symbiotic sponge associations.
An international consortium around the biologist Wolfram Weckwerth has published the genome sequence of Pearl millet, a drought resistant crop plant most important in aride regions in Africa and Asia. This plant is important to small and medium farmers who grow the plant without larger irrigation. Pearl millet delivers a good harvest index under drought and heat conditions when rice, maize or wheat already have no grains anymore.
Unanimously supported by participants at the XIX International Botanical Congress, held in July 2017, Shenzhen, China, the Shenzhen Declaration for Plant Sciences, runs under the slogan of 'Uniting plant sciences and society to build a green, sustainable Earth' and comes in response to the rapid changes experienced by both our planet and society.
A team of scientists analyzed nearly 30 years of revenue and permitting records for individuals fishing in Alaskan waters and tracked how their fishing choices, in terms of permits purchased and species caught, influenced their year-to-year income volatility.
Searching for water, some tree roots probe hundreds of feet deep and many trees send roots through cracks in rocks, according to a new study led by a Rutgers University-New Brunswick professor. Moreover, the depth of plant roots, which varies between species and soil conditions, will play a key role in plants' adaptation to climate change, said Ying Fan Reinfelder, a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Department of Environmental Sciences.
An international research team working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama knocked-out a single control gene in the DNA of seven different butterfly species. In the Sept. 18 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences early online edition, they reveal the surprising results of rewiring the WntA gene: a single gene influences the exuberant diversity of butterfly wing patterns in nature.
An international team of scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how genetics and evolution work in concert to shape biodiversity by investigating the complex color patterns of butterfly wings.
Animals in the Goldilocks zone -- neither too big, nor too small, but just the right size -- face a lower risk of extinction than do those on both ends of the scale, according to an extensive global analysis.