An international collaboration involving the Earlham Institute, Norwich, UK, and the Iwate Biotechnology Research Centre, Japan, has for the first time provided a genome sequence for the white Guinea yam, a staple crop with huge economic and cultural significance on the African continent and a lifeline for millions of people.
Research seeking ways to increase yields for farmers worldwide has received $45 million to build on pioneering work in plant science to help feed the world
The five-year reinvestment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) will enable the researchers to continue their work to address the global food challenge.
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.
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.
Why is a banana leaf a million times bigger than a common heather leaf? Why are leaves generally much larger in tropical jungles than in temperate forests and deserts? The textbooks say it’s a balance between water availability and overheating.
But it’s not that simple.
Research published today as a cover story in the journal Science, led by Associate Professor Ian Wright from Macquarie University in Australia, reveals that in much of the world the key limiting factor for leaf size is night temperature and the risk of frost damage to leaves.
The region’s orchards are an integral part of the landscape and an important source of biodiversity. They are also a rich, but under-researched, historical record.
Now the Landscape Group, part of the University of East Anglia’s (UEA’s) School of History, has been awarded £477,700 of National Lottery funding for a three-year project, Orchard’s East, to survey and record traditional orchards across the East of England.