Barely heard of a couple of years ago, quinoa today is common on European supermarket shelves. The hardy plant thrives even in saline soils. Researchers from the University of Würzburg have now determined how the plant gets rid of the excess salt.
A species of seed-feeding fly is critically damaging the seed production of multiple orchid species, as revealed by a group of Japanese researchers. If the damage caused by this fly is occurring long-term and across Japan, these already-endangered orchid species could become unable to reproduce using seeds, and their dwindling numbers will take a large hit.
Today's kiwifruit, a member of the Chinese gooseberry family, contains about as much vitamin C as an orange. This extra boost in vitamin C production is the result of the kiwifruit's ancestors' spontaneously duplicating their DNA in two separate evolutionary events approximately 50-57 million and 18-20 million years ago, as reported September 20 in the journal iScience.
The forgotten art of 'dry-hopping' beer to enhance flavor is back in vogue. But this practice sometimes has undesirable side effects, such as an unexpectedly high alcohol content and high pressures that could cause beer bottles to break. Now, research published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explains the biochemical basis of these unintended consequences, which could help brewers create 'hoppy' beverages without the quality-control and safety issues.
Since 2010, pistachio farmers from Sicily have been reporting a disease on the trees, characterised by cankers and declines, sometimes leading to the collapse of entire plants. Having surveyed 15 pistachio orchards from three provinces, as well as potted plants, an international team of researchers identified a new disease caused by a previously unknown fungus. The aetiology of the disease and the new pathogenic species are described in the open access journal MycoKeys.
In a paper published in Nature, researchers including University of Utah biologist William Anderegg report that forests with trees that employ a high diversity of traits related to water use suffer less of an impact from drought. The results, which expand on previous work that looked at individual tree species' resilience based on hydraulic traits, lead to new research directions on forest resilience and inform forest managers working to rebuild forests after logging or wildfire.
Drinking green tea has been linked to health benefits ranging from cardiovascular disease prevention to weight loss. Although many of these claims still need to be verified in the clinic, an antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) appears to have beneficial effects in cells and animals. Now, researchers have found a surprising use for EGCG: sneaking therapeutic RNAs into cells. They report their results in ACS Central Science.
While scientists fear that rising temperatures could unleash a 'bomb' of carbon from Earth's soil carbon reservoirs, a new FSU study suggests these reservoirs might actually be more stable than predicted.
Just like humans, plants have an immune system that helps them fight off infections. Gitta Coaker and colleagues at UC Davis have now identified a key step in how plant cells respond to pathogens -- a family of kinase enzymes that activate the enzymes that make reactive oxygen.
New research from Michigan State University suggests that crop yields and the global food supply chain can be preserved by harnessing the critical, and often overlooked, partner in food supply -- soil.