In future, it will be increasingly important to be able to predict the yields of individual varieties of cereals such as wheat as accurately as possible in a given environment. An international research team led by the IPK Leibniz Institute has compiled, processed and analyzed extensive data sets for this purpose. Ultimately, Big Data was able to double the prediction accuracy for yield.
New research by Monash University scientists from the School of Biological Sciences published today in Ecological Solutions and Evidence shows that the richness and abundance of birds is much reduced in areas with dense Pittosporum canopies.
Plants are constantly exposed to microbes: pathogens that cause disease, commensals that cause no harm or benefit, and mutualists that promote plant growth or help fend off pathogens. For example, most land plants can form positive relationships with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to improve nutrient uptake. How plants fight off pathogens without also killing beneficial microbes or wasting energy on commensal microbes is a largely unanswered question.
Plant species with thick and dense roots are more likely to occur in warm climates, while species with thin and low density roots are more likely to occur in cold climates -- a classic trade-off. By contrast, forest species with large-diameter roots and high root tissue density were more commonly associated with dry climates, but species with the opposite trait values were not associated with wet climates. Instead, a diversity of root traits occurred in warm or wet climates.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have published a first- of-its-kind study that shows that near-infrared (NIR) spectrum cameras can help python hunters more effectively track down these invasive snakes, especially at night.
Global ecosystem restoration efforts are often measured by billions of trees planted or square kilometers of land restored. But there is a critical void in the agenda: the social and political dimensions that make restoration a success.
In a new study, an international team of plant researchers including the Institute of Botany at TU Dresden has discovered an unusual and previously unknown reproductive strategy in plants: the Greek pipevine species 'Aristolochia microstoma' produces a unique mixture of volatiles that resembles the smell of dead and decaying insects to attract the pollinating fly genus 'Megaselia' (also known as 'coffin flies') to its trap-flowers. The study was recently published in the open-access journal 'Frontiers'.
Scientists are hoping the RNA of an obscure infection can one day be used like a Trojan horse to deliver life-saving treatments to citrus trees.
An inter-university research group has succeeded in constructing the gene expression network behind the vascular development process in plants. They achieved this by performing bioinformatics analysis using the 'VISUAL' tissue culture platform, which generates vascular stem cells from leaf cells. In this network, they also discovered a new BES/BZR transcription factor, BEH3, and illuminated its role in vascular cell maintenance.
A team led by Kanazawa University, Japan, discovered that applying the vitamin nicotinamide (NIM) to plants prevents development of fungal disease. Pre-treatment with NIM activates the plant immune response and increases amounts of antimicrobial compounds that suppress the growth of the fungus. The results could lead to novel approaches to tackling crop diseases, potentially replacing toxic fungicide sprays with new, safer ways to stimulate the plant's own defense systems.