Sweet sorghum can be used to produce biogas, biofuels, and novel polymers. In addition, it can help replace phosphate fertilizers. A new sweet sorghum variety developed at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) accumulates particularly high amounts of sugar and thrives under local conditions. The scientists report that sugar transport and sugar accumulation are related to the structure of plant vessels. This was the result of a comparison between sweet and grain sorghums.
Climate warming plays a larger role than plant genes in influencing the number and identity of fungal species on oak leaves, especially in autumn. Recently published in the journal New Phytologist, this research by ecologists sheds light on how warming and tree genes affect the dynamics of fungal communities across the season.
Biologists from the Plant Physiology Laboratory at the University of Guam and neuroscientists from the Experimental Medicine Program at The University of British Columbia have published an update on the reputed environmental toxins that have been suspected of being involved in mammal neurodegeneration.
One way of tackling the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is to prevent the underlying adverse changes in the brain. A team of researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) has recently published a study in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, dedicated to neuroprotection against these toxic changes. They used tiny free-living soil worms -- called Caenorhabditis elegans -- and the often-ornamental butterfly pea plant for their exploration.
With sorghum poised to become an important crop grown by Pennsylvania farmers, Penn State researchers, in a new study, tested more than 150 germplasm lines of the plant for resistance to a fungus likely to hamper its production.
Woodlands along streams and rivers are an important part of California's diverse ecology. They are biodiversity hotspots, providing various ecosystem services including carbon sequestration and critical habitat for threatened and endangered species. But our land and water use have significantly impacted these ecosystems, sometimes in unexpected ways.
A long-term passive rewilding study has shown that natural woodland regeneration could make a significant contribution to meeting the UK's ambitious tree planting targets - potentially at no cost and within relatively short timescales. The research, led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), found natural growth due to seed dispersal by birds, mammals and wind can produce biodiverse and resilient woodland.
Like the movie version of Spider-Man who shoots spider webs from holes in his wrists, a little alpine plant has been found to eject cobweb-like threads from tiny holes in specialised cells on its leaves. It's these tiny holes that have taken plant scientists by surprise because puncturing the surface of a plant cell would normally cause it to explode like a water balloon.
Researchers from Nara Institute of Science and Technology have found that an anchoring complex in plant cells recruits its own version of the katana sword for cutting microtubules. The Msd1-Wdr8 complex is used to stabilize sites within plant cells where new microtubules are created, before it recruits katanin -- an enzyme named after the katana sword -- to cut and release new microtubules. This research will inform future studies on cell biology in plants and animals.
Olives are in high demand among plant breeders, owing to their characteristic flavor and the high-end oil derived from them. However, molecular techniques to enhance olive breeding is challenging, owing to a lack of high-quality genomic resources. To overcome this, a new study by Chinese researchers looked into a high-quality genome of a European olive variety and identified genes that can be used to enhance its taste, quality, and health benefits.