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  • Flavanols in action
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    Maize glycosyltransferase modifies flavonols and enhances stress tolerance

    Flavonols are plant produced secondary metabolites and could exert health-promoting effects in humans. To become stable and functional molecules, flavonols are firstly biosynthesized and then modified, mostly by adding sugar donors via glycosylation. Flavonoid biosynthesis derives from the phenylalanine metabolic pathway and has been well characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana. Li et al. reveal that the […] More

  • Parental species and its transgressive hybrid offspring
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    Phenotypic plasticity of polyploid plant species promotes transgressive behaviour in their hybrids

    Hybridization is a common process that leads to relevant evolutionary and ecological consequences. The genotypes resulting from hybridization commonly show phenotypic traits with intermediate values between both parents, however hybrids can also display phenotypic traits outside the ranges of both parents as a result of heterosis or hybrid vigour. This can allow hybrid offspring to […] More

  • Silicon in a sunflower
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    Silicon: the underappreciated plant nutrient

    What nutrients do you consider to be important to a plant? What do plants need to be successful, to grow, photosynthesise, develop and defend themselves effectively against pests and disease? The majority of people, whether they study plants or not, would be able to mention at least a few of these: nitrogen, phosphorus . . […] More

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    Arabidopsis gene expression in hypobaria

    Extreme hypobaria represents an environment that is mostly outside of the evolutionary experience of terrestrial plants, and yet hypobaria may be a part of plant habitats in support of human space exploration. A greenhouse on the surface of Mars, as well as in transit vehicles and space habitats, can be envisioned to operate below the […] More

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    Increased resistance to a generalist herbivore in a salinity-stressed non-halophytic plant

    During their life, plants face multiple stresses. However, studies on single stress factors have typically neglected possible interactions with other factors. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Renault et al. demonstrated that salt stress in Indian mustard (a plant species not adapted to salinity) lessens the effect of herbivory on plant mass, and increases the plants’ […] More

  • Image: Luc Viatour/Wikimedia Commons.
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    Water

    Rounding off our look at the elements, like other biota plants need water to live. If insufficiently hydrated they will suspend life activities (at best) or die (at worst). But unlike other biota – such as animals – plants are unable to move to regions of improved water status if they find themselves lacking or […] More