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Latest Dormancy Stories

Lettuce That Could Sprout Year Round
2013-03-29 10:58:06

University of California, Davis A team of researchers, led by a University of California, Davis, plant scientist, has identified a lettuce gene and related enzyme that put the brakes on germination during hot weather – a discovery that could lead to lettuces that can sprout year-round, even at high temperatures. The study also included researchers from Arcadia Biosciences and Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, India. The finding is particularly important to the nearly...

2012-08-22 02:21:04

FIVE POINTS, Calif., Aug 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced it has purchased the rights to a portfolio of alfalfa varieties suited for colder climate conditions, thereby expanding its alfalfa genetics to include dormant varieties. Since 1980, S&W has focused on breeding and producing non dormant alfalfa seed, known as 8, 9 and 10 dormancies that are suited to warm climates. This purchase is the first time the company has ventured into seed...

2011-12-16 14:02:58

Although the temperate climates of central Europe provide plentiful food in summer, finding enough to eat is much more problematic in winter. Many small mammals avoid the problem by hibernating but this survival strategy is generally not practiced by larger animals. With the exception of some bears, large mammals remain fully awake throughout the year, yet they too must reduce their metabolism to cope with the comparative scarcity of food. Red deer, for example, are known to lower their heart...

2011-12-12 17:47:24

Dormant seeds in the soil detect and respond to seasonal changes in soil temperature by changing their sensitivity to plant hormones, new research by the University of Warwick has found. This sensitivity alters the depth of dormancy, indicating to the seed when it is the right time of year to germinate and grow. The seeds of common weeds can survive in the soil in a dormant state for years, in some cases decades, spelling issues for food security when they emerge to compete with crops....

Image 1 - What's Keeping Michaux's Sumac On The Critically Endangered List?
2011-10-12 04:17:57

It is one of the rarest shrubs in the southeastern United States, and for scientists trying to save it, the critically endangered Michaux's sumac (Rhus michauxii) is not cooperating. So far botanists have exposed the hard-, thick-coated seeds of this native North American plant to boiling water, dry heat up to 284 degrees Fahrenheit and flames from a propane blowtorch to try to coax them into germination. Nothing has worked. "Complete understanding of the germination requirements of...

2011-09-28 12:40:22

The creation of compounds that disrupt a worldwide pest´s winter sleep hints at the potential to develop natural and targeted controls against crop-eating insects, new research suggests. Scientists have designed agents that interfere with the protective dormancy period of the corn earworm, a species that infests more than 100 types of plants and costs American farmers an estimated $2 billion a year in losses and control costs. The compounds, composed of synthetic molecules that...

2011-01-26 14:18:14

It's commonly known, at least among microbiologists, that microbes have an additional option to living or dying "” dormancy. Dormant microbes are less like zombies and more like hibernating bears. What isn't known, however, is how large numbers of dormant microorganisms affect the natural environments when they act as microbial seed banks. In the current issue of Nature Reviews: Microbiology, Jay Lennon, Michigan State University assistant professor of microbiology and molecular...

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2011-01-11 23:37:33

Study yields new model that can help managers calculate when plants will burst bud under different climate scenariosThe opening of buds on Douglas-fir trees each spring is the result of a complex interplay between cold and warm temperatures during the winter, scientists with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station have found.Their research"”which is featured in the December issue of Science Findings, a monthly publication of the station"”led to the development...

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2010-03-22 17:50:00

EAST LANSING, Mich. "” The ability of microbes, tiny organisms that do big jobs in our environment, to go dormant not only can save them from death and possible extinction but may also play a key role in promoting biodiversity and ecosystem stability. In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, Michigan State University's Jay Lennon and Stuart Jones described how they used a mathematical model and molecular tools to study how dormancy affects the...

2009-07-22 08:29:47

Winter chill, a vital climatic trigger for many tree crops, is likely to decrease by more than 50 percent during this century as global climate warms, making California no longer suitable for growing many fruit and nut crops, according to a team of researchers from the University of California, Davis, and the University of Washington.In some parts of California's agriculturally rich Central Valley, winter chill has already declined by nearly 30 percent, the researchers found."Depending on the...