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  • Model of P stress

    Abscisic acid affects rice cell wall phosphate remobilization and P transporation

    Abscisic acid (ABA) is a well-studied phytohormone known to be involved in sub-sets of stress responses in plants, such as iron (Fe) deficiency and phosphorus (P) deficiency in Arabidopsis. However, whether ABA is involved in P deficiency in rice has not frequently been studied. Zhu et al. decided to investigate the mechanism underlying ABA-aggravated P […] More

  • Diagram of fungus types
    in ,

    How fungi oxygenated the Earth

    Now that’s an eye-catching headline, isn’t it? The thought of mushrooms and toadstools – that famously don’t produce oxygen, unlike green plants with their oxygenic photosynthesis – adding oxygen to the planet’s atmosphere. What? How? Tell me more… Well, and as you probably suspect, it’s not direct activity of the fungi that generates the oxygen, […] More

  • Oysters

    Humans are good for forests

    You are all forgiven for doing a ‘double-take’ upon reading that headline. Usually it’s all bad news when humans and forests are concerned, so a statement to the contrary is noteworthy. The item concerns ancient humans, but is more convoluted and nuanced – Cuttingsesque…? – than that five word heading implies. Andrew Trant et al. […] More

  • Oryza sativa

    Ethylene affects cell wall remobilisation

    Seeking to uncover the effects of ethylene on the metabolic process and pectin remobilising capacity of rice (Oryza sativa) that is grown in phosphorus (P)-deficient conditions, Zhu et al. find that ethylene positively regulates the cell wall pectin content of two rice cultivars. Mediated by the expression of OsPT2, more soluble P was released to […] More

  • Diagram of root phenes

    Root adaptations to infertile soils

    Phenotypic characterisation of root adaptations to infertile soils enables plant breeders to develop improved cultivars that not only yield more, but also contribute to yield stability and nutritional security in the face of climate variability. Rao et al. review the adaptive responses of root systems to soils with low fertility and aluminum toxicity. A number […] 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

  • Monks collecting alms

    Altruistic plants?

    There’s been a thoughtfulness* of books recently that reflect on aspects of plant intelligence – e.g. Daniel Chamovitz’s What a Plant Knows, Anthony Trewavas’ Plant Behaviour & Intelligence, Richard Karban’s Plant Sensing and Communication , and Stefano Mancuso and Alessandra Viola’s Brilliant Green. Whilst the concept or meaning of plant intelligence is debated, let’s muddy […] More

  • Drosera capensis

    Snacking helps Drosera’s appetite

    A paper by Pavlovič et al. has caught my eye this week. Feeding on prey increases photosynthetic efficiency in the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis has moved into Free Access. I’m used to the idea that carnivorous plants trap insects to get Nitrogen, but it is a bit more complicated than that. Pavlovič et al set […] More

  • Carnivory and photosynthesis in sundew

    Drosera, the hunter

    The hunting cycle of the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis, including prey attraction, digestion and subsequent benefits from nutrient uptake. More

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