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.
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.
A new study concludes that members of the public can accurately report disease outbreaks affecting our native trees and that by combining their findings with official survey effort better quality predictions of disease distributions can be made.
Scientists at the John Innes Centre have identified a unique mechanism that the soil dwelling bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens uses to effectively exploit nutrients in the root environment.
The breakthrough offers multiple new applications, for the study of human pathogens, for synthetic biology, and for the productions of biosensors which help detect biological changes in plants and their environment.