Could cactus pear become a major crop like soybeans and corn in the near future, and help provide a biofuel source, as well as a sustainable food and forage crop? According to a recently published study, researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno believe the plant, with its high heat tolerance and low water use, may be able to provide fuel and food in places that previously haven't been able to grow sustainable crops.
Many species might be left vulnerable in the face of climate change, unable to adapt their physiologies to respond to rapid global warming. According to a team of international researchers, species evolve heat tolerance more slowly than cold tolerance, and the level of heat they can adapt to has limits.
Over 2 billion people worldwide are malnourished due to zinc deficiency. Led by the University of Copenhagen, an international team of researchers has discovered how plants sense zinc and use this knowledge to enhance plant zinc uptake, leading to an increase in seed zinc content by 50 percent. The new knowledge might one day be applied towards the cultivation of more nutritious crops.
New research reveals an essential step in scientists' quest to create targeted, RNA-based, more eco-friendly fungicides that protect food crops.
Researchers at CSHL used CRISPR, a genome-editing tool, to figure out the hidden roles of a developmental gene called WOX9. It usually induces flower branching in tomatoes and influences embryo growth in a plant related to broccoli. By tweaking the DNA in the gene's nearby promoter region, the researchers found WOX9 could induce flower branching in other species. These types of genetic manipulations provide new opportunities to improve crop traits while eliminating unwanted side effects.
The United Kingdom (UK) could have lost as much as 92% of historic seagrass meadows, a new study shows. These seagrass meadows are an essential part of healthy marine ecosystems, supporting the UK's fish stocks, and helping to absorb and trap carbon from the atmosphere. The research highlights an urgent need to protect and restore current and degrading seagrass meadows.
* Natural compound found in catnip is at least as effective as synthetic insect repellents such as DEET * Catnip can easily be grown in a home garden and made into oil or extract * New type of deterrent targets pain receptors in insects while maintaining no impact on humans
Some plant viruses systemically infect plants and cause huge losses in yield though our understanding of how systemic infections occur is largely unknown. A new study from the College of Biological Sciences at China Agricultural University provides extends our understanding of how virus-host interaction determines the systemic spread of a virus in different plant hosts.
Clemson researchers combined descriptions of flower color from museum flower specimens dating back to 1895 with longitudinal- and latitudinal-specific climate data to link changes in temperature and aridity with color change in the human-visible spectrum (white to purple).
Although the use of pesticides in agriculture is increasing, some farms have transitioned to organic practices and avoid applying them. But it's uncertain whether chemicals applied to land decades ago can continue to influence the soil's health after switching to organic management. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology have identified pesticide residues at 100 Swiss farms, including all the organic fields studied, with beneficial soil microbes' abundance negatively impacted by their occurrence.