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Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News
I plow the fields for you, bringing you choice botany news.
Curated by Marybeth Shea
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Increasing drought stress challenges vulnerable hydraulic system of plants, professor finds

Increasing drought stress challenges vulnerable hydraulic system of plants, professor finds | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
The hydraulic system of trees is so finely-tuned that predicted increases in drought due to climate change may lead to catastrophic failure in many species.
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Green chemistry: Waste from palm oil extraction can be converted into useful sugar

Green chemistry: Waste from palm oil extraction can be converted into useful sugar | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
The waste plant materials remaining from palm oil extraction processes can now be converted into a useful sugar.
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Electricity from the marshes

Electricity from the marshes | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
An unexpected source of new, clean energy has been found: the Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell that can generate electricity from the natural interaction between living plant roots and soil bacteria.
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Birch tree genome sequenced for first time

Birch tree genome sequenced for first time | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
Scientists have sequenced the genetic code of a birch tree for the first time, which could help protect birch populations.
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Probing the mystery of the venus fly trap's botanical bite

Probing the mystery of the venus fly trap's botanical bite | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
Plants lack muscles, yet in only a tenth of a second, the meat-eating Venus fly trap hydrodynamically snaps its leaves shut to trap an insect meal. This astonishingly rapid display of botanical movement has long fascinated biologists.
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Science: Transposable Elements, Epigenetics, and Genome Evolution

Science: Transposable Elements, Epigenetics, and Genome Evolution | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it

Nina Fedoroff's Presidential Address essay for Science looks at transposons and epigenetics, with an emphasis on plants.

It's a very good introductory-level article that should be accessible to most university students, and it also includes some discussion of our evolving understanding of genomes and genome evolution.

Two thumbs up!


Via Mary Williams, Luigi Guarino
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Planting rebellion: How to reclaim our seed culture

Planting rebellion: How to reclaim our seed culture | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it

Is seed saving revolutionary?

 

"A new book highlights the culture of "seed-savers" and reveals the crucial, often invisible role seeds play in keeping our food system stable and genetically diverse."


Via Bioversity Library, Eve Emshwiller
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DNA tests for rare birch trees

DNA tests for rare birch trees | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
The DNA of endangered trees from Georgia will be analysed by a botanist in a bid to find out more about their evolution.
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Compound in grapes, red wine could be key to fighting prostate cancer

Compound in grapes, red wine could be key to fighting prostate cancer | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
New research has revealed that the compound can make prostate tumor cells more susceptible to radiation treatment, increasing the chances of a full recovery from all types of prostate cancer, including aggressive tumors.
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ScienceShot: Light Me Up, Buttercup - ScienceNOW

ScienceShot: Light Me Up, Buttercup - ScienceNOW | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
ScienceShot: Light Me Up, Buttercup - ScienceNOW...
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Arabica coffee could be extinct in the wild within 70 years

Arabica coffee could be extinct in the wild within 70 years | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
Climate change alone could lead to the extinction of wild Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) well before the end of this century.
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Nature comment: Plant perennials to save Africa's soils

Nature comment: Plant perennials to save Africa's soils | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it

Integrating perennials with food crops could restore soil health and increase staple yields. Examples include nitrogen-fixing trees, co-cropping with legumes and other strategies. 

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7416/full/489359a.html

 

"Sub-Saharan Africa's population is expected to reach 1.5–2 billion by 2050. Already the population is ballooning; in many areas, the risk of drought and flood is increasing; most soils are poor; and richer nations are buying up Africa's arable land for their own food or fuel security. African farmers have demonstrated the promise of perenniation. It is time to scale up its use and put it firmly on the research-and-development map."


Via Mary Williams, Ruth Bastow, Marybeth Shea
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Recognizing The Right Of Plants To Evolve : NPR

Recognizing The Right Of Plants To Evolve : NPR | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
Plants can sometimes exhibit human-like behavior — some respond to music, smell other plants or seem to shrink away when touched. In fact, some would argue that greenery is sensitive enough to deserve rights.
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Watermelon genome decoded: Scientists find clues to disease resistant watermelons

Watermelon genome decoded: Scientists find clues to disease resistant watermelons | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
Scientists have sequenced the watermelon genome -- information that could dramatically accelerate watermelon breeding toward production of a more nutritious, tastier and more resistant fruit.
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Pear genome provides new insight into breeding improvement and evolutionary trace analysis

Pear genome provides new insight into breeding improvement and evolutionary trace analysis | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
Scientists have cracked the pear genome and are providing new insight into breeding improvement and evolutionary trace analysis.
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Le Rouge et le Noir: Where the black dahlia gets its color

Le Rouge et le Noir: Where the black dahlia gets its color | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
The molecular mechanisms whereby a spectrum of dahlias, from white to yellow to red to purple, get their color are already well known, but the black dahlia has hitherto remained a mystery.
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Plant derivative, tanshinones, protects against sepsis, study suggests

Researchers have discovered that tanshinones, which come from the plant Danshen and are highly valued in Chinese traditional medicine, protect against the life-threatening condition sepsis.
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Plants' Carbon-Sinking Capacity Is Much Lower Than Thought: Scientific American

Plants' Carbon-Sinking Capacity Is Much Lower Than Thought: Scientific American | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
A new long-term field study shows that plants grow less under elevated carbon conditions owing to limitations in soil nutrients--bad news as atmospheric CO 2 increases...
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Botanic Notable: The Remembrance Poppy | Garden Design

Botanic Notable: The Remembrance Poppy | Garden Design | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
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Qatar seeks to lead world in date palm research : House of Wisdom

Qatar seeks to lead world in date palm research : House of Wisdom | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) leads partnership to make Qatar the world's leader in date palm research.
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New way in which plants control flower production

New way in which plants control flower production | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
The timing of flowering in plants is critical. It can have profound effects on flower, fruit, and seed production, and consequently agricultural yields. This process is known to depend on daylight and temperature cues.
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Undead-End: Fungus That Controls Zombie-Ants Has Own Fungal Stalker: Scientific American

Undead-End: Fungus That Controls Zombie-Ants Has Own Fungal Stalker: Scientific American | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
A specialized parasite fungus can control ants' behavior.
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Caesar, the Orchid Chief - ScienceNOW

Caesar, the Orchid Chief - ScienceNOW | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
Caesar, the Orchid Chief - ScienceNOW...
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Urban Botanists DIG Plants!

Urban Botanists DIG  Plants! | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
Do you remember growing plants in school when you were young or had the chance to eat something that you've grown? Our planting projects' goal is to involve our students with hands-on, exciting,...
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Plants need a 'new deal' to stem their decline, warns Kew director

Plants need a 'new deal' to stem their decline, warns Kew director | Botany Roundup: Worthy Plant News | Scoop.it
The economic and environmental benefits of plants must not be overlooked, says the outgoing director of Kew Gardens...
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