Latest Plant physiology Stories

2011-05-12 22:41:16

In a head-to-head battle of harvesting the sun's energy, solar cells beat plants, according to a new paper in Science. But scientists think they can even up the playing field, says researcher David Kramer at Michigan State University. Plants are less efficient at capturing the energy in sunlight than solar cells mostly because they have too much evolutionary baggage. Plants have to power a living thing, whereas solar cells only have to send electricity down a wire. This is a big difference...

2011-05-04 06:40:00

Between 5 and 10 million years ago, the landscape on Earth changed dramatically. Brown University biologists and colleagues have determined that cacti exploded onto the global scene then, about the same geologic time as other succulent plants and tropical grasses. The trigger: A global period marked by cooling and increased aridity, possibly with lowered atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels. Their findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The cactus, stalwart of the...

2011-04-18 16:42:38

A mechanism for stabilizing the development of the plant organism During the development of organisms, a particular event repeatedly occurs: a signal appears temporarily, but the processes it triggers must be maintained "“ for example, when the fate of cells in the embryo is established. The plant hormone auxin plays an important role as a signaling molecule during embryo development of the thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), a model plant widely used in genetic studies. Researchers...

2011-03-29 20:07:05

A study at Michigan State University has revealed a potential new way for plants to fend off pests "“ starvation. Gregg Howe, biochemistry and molecular biology professor, cites that this defense mechanism is just one example of a veritable evolutionary arms race between plants and herbivores. Howe, in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers insights to understanding the chemical weaponry of this war, which could lead to new approaches to protect...

2011-03-17 17:31:38

During the evolution of plants of the mustard family a leucine producing enzyme mutated into an enzyme that protects plants against herbivores Plants are continually exposed to herbivore attack. To defend themselves, they have developed sophisticated chemical defense mechanisms. Plants of the mustard family, such as thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), produce glucosinolates (mustard oil glucosides) to protect themselves against herbivory. Scientists know many different kinds of these...

2011-03-05 10:55:32

As carbon dioxide levels have risen during the last 150 years, the density of pores that allow plants to breathe has dwindled by 34 percent, restricting the amount of water vapor the plants release to the atmosphere, report scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and Utrecht University in the Netherlands in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (now online).In a separate paper, also to be published by PNAS, many of the same scientists describe a model...

2011-03-02 19:55:33

A Purdue University scientist and researchers in Japan have produced a new class of improved plant growth regulators that are expected to be less toxic to humans. Angus Murphy, a professor of horticulture, said the growth inhibitors block the transport of auxin, a plant hormone that, when transported throughout the plant, controls growth processes. Current growth regulators that inhibit auxin transport are inefficient because they also have hormonelike activity or affect other important plant...

2011-02-08 11:00:00

Rhizanthella gardneri is a cute, quirky and critically endangered orchid that lives all its life underground.  It even blooms underground, making it virtually unique amongst plants.  Last year, using radioactive tracers, scientists at The University of Western Australia showed that the orchid gets all its nutrients by parasitizing fungi associated with the roots of broom bush, a woody shrub of the WA outback.  Now, with less than 50 individuals left in the wild, scientists...

2011-01-28 13:02:10

Plants are attacked by a multitude of insects and mammals. As defense against these herbivores they developed complex defense mechanisms over the course of evolution: spines, thorns, leaf hairs and a number of toxic chemical substances. For decades it has been controversially discussed whether the production of defense traits incurs costs to the plants. Now, using a new method the ecologists and plant biologists of the University of Zrich together with their American colleagues demonstrate...

2011-01-18 09:48:16

Plants are fundamental to life on Earth, converting light and carbon dioxide into food and oxygen. Plant growth may be an important part of human survival in exploring space, as well. Gardening in space has been part of the International Space Station from the beginning -- whether peas grown in the Lada greenhouse or experiments in the Biomass Production System. The space station offers unique opportunities to study plant growth and gravity, something that cannot be done on Earth. The latest...

Latest Plant physiology Reference Libraries

International Journal of Biometeorology
2012-04-29 20:58:31

The International Journal of Biometeorology is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Springer Science+Business Media on behalf of the International Society of Biometeorology. The journal publishes original research papers, review articles, and short communications on studies examining the interactions between living organisms and factors of the natural and artificial physical environment. It publishes articles in the following fields: Earth and environmental science, life...

2009-04-23 11:07:34

Bittercress (Barbarea vulgaris), also commonly known as Herb Barbara, Rocketcress, Yellow Rocketcress, Winter Rocket, and Wound Rocket, is a European biennial herb. This plant displays a rosette of shiny, dark green leaves at the base and additional pinnately divided leaves on the stem. In the spring, yellow flowers originate in tightly packed terminal groups just above the foliage. Bittercress grows wildly as a weed in many parts of North America. The flowers can be in bloom May...

2007-12-27 09:16:35

The Par Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis), is a tree belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is the most economically important member of the genus Hevea. It is of major economic importance because its sap-like extract (latex) can be collected and is the primary source of natural rubber. The Pará rubber tree initially grew only in the Amazon Rainforest. Now most rubber tree plantations are in southeast Asia and tropical Africa. Attempts to cultivate the tree in other areas in South...

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Word of the Day
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'