Enzymes speed up chemical reactions inside cells. Like parts in a car, they wear out and must be replaced, and that takes energy. Scientists have found a way to evaluate how long a given enzyme lasts, letting them identify those that need the most improvement in lifespan. Enzymes with improved lifespans could help crops be more productive.
Developed by researchers at the University of São Paulo, the non-invasive methodology facilitates identification of immature or poor-quality seeds without destroying them or creating residues.
Zhao and colleagues studied the co-evolutionary relationship between rust fungi and its hosts using genes specifically needed for the host infection at different spore stages. They compared the transcriptomes of Pst during infection of wheat and barberry leaves and identified the genes needed for wheat or barberry infection and the genes needed to infect both. They found a larger proportion of evolutionarily conserved genes in barberry, implying a longer history of interaction with Pst.
The popular stevia sweetener comes from a tropical crop. New research is helping find the varieties that can grow in colder climates.
A recent study shows that lettuce can be grown in greenhouses that filter out wavelengths of light used to generate solar power, demonstrating the feasibility of using see-through solar panels in greenhouses to generate electricity.
A bit of seaweed in cattle feed could reduce methane emissions from beef cattle as much as 82 percent, according to new findings from researchers at the University of California, Davis.
Corn didn't start out as the powerhouse crop it is today. No, for most of the thousands of years it was undergoing domestication and improvement, corn grew humbly within the limits of what the environment and smallholder farmers could provide.
A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a device that can deliver electrical signals to and from plants, opening the door to new technologies that make use of plants.
Dr Daniel Montesinos is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Tropical Herbarium at James Cook University in Cairns. He is studying weeds to better understand (among other things) how they might respond to climate change. He said most invasive plants are characterised by their rapid pace when it comes to taking up nutrients, growing, and reproducing - and they're even faster in the regions they invade.