A non-renewable resource, phosphorus (P) is essential for crop and food production. However, due to inefficient use and limited global reserves, inorganic P fertilisers will become less economically viable and there are concerns about future supplies and the environmental consequences of mismanagement. Without action, this situation could undermine agricultural productivity and sustainability.
Though it may look haphazard, the network of intertwining plant roots snaking through the soil actually represents a deliberate process. Root growth is guided by chemical snapshots taken by the young roots, allowing them to detect obstructions and coordinate the paths they take, new research led by Florida Institute of Technology finds.
For this study, he focused on a single type of molecule in trichomes – acyl sugars. The secrets Last and a team of MSU scientists found from studying these specialized metabolites open an evolutionary window for the emerging field of plant defence metabolism, insights that could lead to engineering advances for better pest resistance and human medicine.
Soil scientists at the James Hutton Institute are working to create the first unified digital map of soil properties within Great Britain, a development which will contribute to worldwide Global Soil Map projects and improve the data available to researchers and stakeholders in Britain and beyond to be used for many different projects.
Traffic jams are the curse of the commute, the scourge of the school run and the bane of Bank Holidays. But gridlocked motorists and students of traffic flow may soon be relieved and enlightened thanks to new research into plants.
It has emerged that plants have it sorted when it comes to going with the flow and avoiding frustrating congestion. These fascinating results come from a joint study by the John Innes Centre, Norwich, and the University of Tokyo, Japan.