Stem cells are typically thought to have the intrinsic ability to generate or replace specialized cells. However, a team of biologists at NYU showed that regenerating plants can naturally reconstitute their stem cells from more mature cells by replaying embryogenesis.
If you place a houseplant next to a sunny window, you may notice the leaves bending toward the light. Plants don't have brains, so the vast majority of movement is controlled by the interaction of light and fluid within plant cells. Researchers have published a paper in APL Photonics that highlights examples of optofluidics in plants. Optofluidics combine optical systems, which respond to and control light, with microfluidic systems, which move fluids through small channels.
A Japanese research group has identified the enzymes that change the grassy odor of plants into a sweeter 'green' fragrance. This discovery can potentially be used to grow sweet tomatoes with less of a grassy odor. These findings were published on April 29 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
In a paper published online May 16, 2016, in Trends in Microbiology, researchers from the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute call for the formation of a National Microbiome Data Center to efficiently manage the datasets accumulated globally. By integrating and harnessing all available microbiome data and metadata, researchers could conduct larger-scale comparative analyses in order to address global challenges related to energy, environment, health and agriculture.
While a lot is already known about plant perception, our ecological understanding of plants has largely focused on seeing plants as the sum of a series of building blocks or traits. A new special issue using Ideas from Behavioural Ecology to Understand Plants edited by JC Cahill of the University of Alberta, and published by AoB PLANTS gathers researchers who have taken a new approach, theorizing plant activity in terms of behavior.
Matthew Hartings hates gin. "Something about that flavor doesn’t sit right with me," writes Hartings, a professor of chemistry at American University. He also hates tonic. "It is too bitter for me. I just don’t understand how people can drink tonic water." But, if you mix the two, you make one of his favorite drinks: th
Calcium phosphate is a widespread biomineral in the animal kingdom: Bones and teeth largely consist of this very tough mineral substance. Researchers from Bonn University could now for the first time demonstrate the presence of calcium phosphate as a structural biomineral in higher plants. The substance provides the necessary 'bite' to the stinging hairs of representatives of the rock nettle family (Loasaceae). It hardens the trichomes, which serve as a herbivore defense.
Breeding barley that provides good yields even in a hot and dry climate -- a research team of the University of Würzburg is currently busy with this task. The project is part of the new Bavarian alliance 'BayKlimaFit' aimed at finding strategies to adapt crops to climate change.
Roses are red, violets are blue. Everybody knows that, but what makes them so? Although plant breeders were aware of some of the genes involved, there was as yet no quantitative study of how pigment turns a flower red, blue or yellow. Casper van der Kooi conducted just such a study, combining biology and physics.
Most US homes are full of familiar household products with an ingredient that fights bacteria: triclosan. Most of the triclosan is removed in waste water treatment plants. However, a US Geological Survey found the antibacterial in nearly 58 percent of freshwater streams. What does that mean for the food and soil irrigated with water from streams?
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