March 2016

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    Ecophysiology of four co-occurring Lycophyte species: an investigation of functional convergence

    Modern clubmosses (Lycophytes) are a vestige of their gargantuan carboniferous ancestors that dominated the paleoflora flora for millions of years. The group has a broad global distribution ranging from tundra to tropical forests and can make up an important component of temperate northeast US forests. Yet little is known of the ecophysiology of these plants. […] More

  • Arabidopsis

    Reproductive organ and young tissues show constrained elemental composition

    Current knowledge of plant stoichiometric homeostasis is mainly obtained from the mature leaf, with little from other organs across different developmental stages. Yan et al. conducted a greenhouse nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) addition experiment to evaluate the strength of stoichiometric homeostasis across different organs and developmental stages of Arabidopsis thaliana, and find that reproductive […] More

  • An authentic "Mariscada" from Galicia.

    Decision time: Inorganic or Organic..?

    Plants need appropriate amounts of essential nutrients if they are to grow fully and generate the yield of which they are capable. Quite often, however, one of those essentials – principally, nitrogen (N) – is in insufficient supply in the soil. To achieve maximum crop yields those missing nutrient(s) are added by humans. Traditionally, that […] More

  • Passiflora incarnata

    Variability in style deflexion and its fitness consequences

    Variability of floral traits within individuals is usually regarded as developmental noise and not considered in studies of adaptive evolution. Dai et al. measure style deflexion, a floral trait in Passiflora incarnata responsible for herkogamy and pollen deposition. They find that the degree of style deflexion varies within and among flowers, and different plants show […] More

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    SPECIAL ISSUE: Scaling effects regulating plant response to global change

    AoB PLANTS is pleased to announce the publication of a Special Issue titled Scaling Effects Regulating Plant Response to Global Change, edited by Elise Gornish (University of California, Davis, USA) and Sebastian Leuzinger (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand). As a result of the increasing speed and magnitude in which habitats worldwide are experiencing environmental change, making […] More

  • Vigna sinensis

    Cell wall matrix polysaccharides and mesophyll cell morphogenesis

    The acquisition of the photosynthetic mesophyll cell shape in the dicotyledonous species Vigna sinensis and the fern Asplenium nidus is the result of the coordination of (a) the cortical microtubule alignment that controls cellulose microfibril orientation and (b) the local differentiation of the cell wall matrix polysaccharides, a rather general phenomenon, also described in monocotyledonous […] More

  • Incarvillea sinensis

    Seasonal variation in selfing rate

    Flowering plants display considerable variation in mating system, particularly the relative frequency of cross- and self-fertilization. The majority of estimates of outcrossing rate do not account for temporal variation, particularly during the flowering season. Yin et al. investigate seasonal variation in mating using genetic markers in Incarvillea sinensis (Bignoniaceae), a desert annual with showy, insect-pollinated […] More

  • Scheme for describing the terminology of roots and the definition of root traits.

    Relationships between root diameter, length and branching of maize

    The effect of diameter variation on root elongation, branching and topological connections has not been examined systematically in a population of high-order roots, nor along the roots. Wu et al. used very detailed information on the geometry and topology of the root system of field-grown maize to study the relationships between root diameter and other […] More

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    Bergamot versus beetle: evidence for intraspecific chemical specialization

    Many plant-eating insects have developed the ability to eat plants that synthesize toxins, which they use to defend themselves against herbivores. While these specialized insects are good at dealing with specific plant toxins, plant species with highly variable chemistry can present a challenge. In a new study published in AoB PLANTS, Keefover-Ring tested for reciprocal […] More

  • Schematic overview of possible direct and indirect modes of increased phosphorus (P) uptake in cereal/legume intercropping.

    Crop acquisition of phosphorus, iron and zinc in intercropping (Review)

    Phosphorus (P), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) are essential elements for plant growth and development but their availability in soil is often limited. Xue et al. review the processes regulating the acquisition of these nutrients from soil and translocation to grains in cereal/legume intercropping systems. While cereals facilitate Fe/Zn uptake by legumes, there is no […] More

  • Herbivores on a leaf

    Leaf mechanical traits in insect herbivory

    Leaf mechanical traits deter insect herbivores, but little is known about the role of particular mechanical traits across feeding guilds. Caldwell et al. investigated feeding damage in relation to mechanical traits in mature leaves of shrubs and trees, finding that mechanical traits influenced feeding guilds differentially. Chewing damage correlated negatively with mechanical traits, with the […] More

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    Shedding light on plant – and animal – biology…

    Photobiology [the science of light and life], 3rd Edition. Edited by Lars Olaf Björn. Springer, 2015. As botanists (for such I assume most of this blog site’s readership are) we are acutely aware – and more so than most other biologists – of the importance of light in biology. Not only is sun-driven photosynthesis the […] More

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