Endangered Plants

Endangered Plants News -- ScienceDaily Endangered plant research. Read about interesting mechanisms for plant survival and what is being done to save threatened and endangered plants.

  • Sweet bribes for ants are key to crops bearing fruit, study shows
    on June 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Some flowering crops, such as beans and cotton, carefully manage the amount and sweetness of nectar produced on their flowers and leaves, to recruit colonizing ants which deter herbivores. This strategy balances their needs for defense and reproduction. […]

  • Dune ecosystem modelling
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Acacia longifolia, which is native to Australia, is a species which was cultivated in Portugal primarily to stabilize dunes and as an ornamental plant; now it has spread out uncontrollably in Portugal and into many ecosystems around the world. Using the acacia as an example, researchers show that the location has an effect on interaction with other species. […]

  • Plants sacrifice 'daughters' to survive chilly weather
    on June 23, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Plants adopt different strategies to survive the changing temperatures of their natural environments. This is most evident in temperate regions where forest trees shed their leaves to conserve energy during the cold season. In a new study, a team of plant biologists found that some plants may selectively kill part of their roots to survive under cold weather conditions. […]

  • Pollinator extinctions alter structure of ecological networks
    on June 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    The absence of a single dominant bumblebee species from an ecosystem disrupts foraging patterns among a broad range of remaining pollinators in the system -- from other bees to butterflies, beetles and more, field experiments show. […]

  • How phytoplankton rule the oceans
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Photosynthesis is a unique biological process that has permitted the colonization of land and sea by plants and phytoplankton respectively. While the mechanisms of photosynthesis in plants are well understood, scientists are only now beginning to elucidate how the process developed in phytoplankton. […]

  • Mathematical biology tackles destructive plant virus
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Plant diseases pose a serious threat to global food security, especially in developing countries, where millions of people depend on consuming what they harvest. In sub-Saharan Africa, one plant disease in particular -- maize lethal necrosis -- is ravaging one of the region's preferred crops for food, feed and income. But understanding its biology in order to manage the disease is difficult because the disease arises from two viruses interacting -- which is where mathematics comes into play. […]

  • New approach to unlock the genetic potential of plant cell wall
    on June 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Researchers have unlocked the genetic secrets of plant cell walls, which could help improve the quality of plant-based foods, outlines a new report. […]

  • Earning a living in a changing climate: The plant perspective
    on June 14, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Some of the world's plants are using 'last-stand' strategies to survive rather than thrive as global climate change gathers apace. Ecologists assessed plant strategies in less suitable climates by tapping into big data collated from 16 different countries in 3 different continents over the past 50 years. […]

  • Charred flowers and the fossil record
    on June 13, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    One of the main types of fossil used to understand the first flowering plants (angiosperms) are charred flowers. These charcoals were produced in ancient wildfires, and they provide some evidence for the types of plants that grew millions of years ago. However, when fires burn they not only produce charcoal, but they also destroy it. […]

  • From the somatic cell to the germ cell
    on June 8, 2017 at 11:32 am

    A regulatory pathway that changes the way cells divide in plants has been discovered by a team of researchers. […]

  • World's oldest fossil mushroom found
    on June 7, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Roughly 115 million years ago, when the ancient supercontinent Gondwana was breaking apart, a mushroom fell into a river and began an improbable journey. Its ultimate fate as a mineralized fossil preserved in limestone in northeast Brazil makes it a scientific wonder, scientists report. […]

  • New way to detect Palmer amaranth in contaminated seedlots
    on June 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Some seed mixtures planted on Conservation Reserve Program acres have been contaminated with Palmer amaranth, an aggressive weed. Seed producers must choose between time-consuming or expensive options to certify that their products are free of Palmer amaranth. A new assay can quickly detect Palmer amaranth in mixed seed lots at a comparatively low cost. […]

  • Newly identified gene helps time spring flowering in vital grass crops
    on June 5, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    A gene that keeps grasses from entering their flowering cycle until the season is right has been found by researchers, a discovery that may help plant breeders and engineers get more from food and energy crops. […]

  • Small group of cells within a plant embryo operate in similar way to the human brain
    on June 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    A new study has revealed a group of cells that function as a ‘brain’ for plant embryos capable of assessing environmental conditions and dictating when seeds will germinate. […]

  • Bacteria used as factories to produce cancer drugs
    on June 2, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Researchers have developed a method of producing P450 enzymes -- used by plants to defend against predators and microbes -- in bacterial cell factories. The process could facilitate the production of large quantities of the enzymes, which are also involved in the biosynthesis of active ingredients of cancer drugs. […]

  • Spanish Plant misclassified for 176 years
    on June 2, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Surprisingly, there are still plant species waiting to be discovered in the Iberian Peninsula. Some are detected thanks to the latest study methods, and others, such as Linaria becerrae, are described when reinterpreting species which are already known. This new Málaga plant had been classified by mistake for 176 years. […]

  • A better dye job for roots -- in plants
    on June 1, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    A chemical dye has been discovered that reveals how a critical plant hormone helps root growth. […]

  • New step in plant mastermind hormone's pathway revealed
    on June 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Plants have a complex system of hormones that guide their growth and maximize their ability to take advantage of the environment. One mastermind hormone is called brassinosteroid. New research has identified one missing link in the brassinosteroid signaling chain, which is called KIB1 and is an essential part of brassinosteroid's effectiveness. […]

  • Bacteria may supercharge the future of wastewater treatment
    on May 31, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Wastewater treatment plants have a PR problem: People don't like to think about what happens to the waste they flush down their toilets. But for many engineers and microbiologists, these plants are a hotbed of scientific advances. […]

  • Drug-delivery method holds promise for controlling crop parasites
    on May 31, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Nematodes cause $157 billion in crop damage annually, largely because traditional pesticides fail to reach plant roots, where the round worms do their damage. In the lab, tobacco mild green mosaic virus nanoparticles carrying a nematicide dispersed better when applied to the soil surface, resulting in more nematicide reaching the root level. The strategy could decrease the amount of pesticides applied to crops, reducing the risk of runoff, the amount of chemicals in produce and grains, and the overall cost of nematode control. […]

  • The chemistry of plants facing multiple stress scenarios
    on May 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    All living organisms harbor complex chemical networks inside their cells. The sum of all these chemical reactions is the driving force of life and is called metabolism. New research studies how plants adapt their metabolic networks to respond to different environmental stresses. […]

  • Biologists find missing link for the 'safe' signal in plants
    on May 30, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Plant biologists have discovered how the plant metabolises jasmonic acid, issuing the signal 'safe.' […]

  • Crucial clue to manipulating reproduction in plants discovered
    on May 25, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    For the first time, a team of researchers has identified a small RNA species and its target gene that together regulate female germline formation in plants -- crucial knowledge for manipulating plant reproduction in order to improve agriculture. The new work not only identifies a regulatory module for an important developmental process, it also implies that there is likely cell-to-cell communications via RNA or protein in this process. […]

  • Helping plants pump iron
    on May 24, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Genetic variants have been identified that help plants grow in low-iron environments, which could improve crop yields, say researchers. […]

  • Secret weapon of smart bacteria tracked to 'sweet tooth'
    on May 24, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Researchers have figured out how a once-defeated bacterium has re-emerged to infect cotton in a battle that could sour much of the Texas and US crop. And it boils down to this: A smart bacteria with a sweet tooth. […]

  • Sunflower genome sequence to provide roadmap for more resilient crops
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Researchers have completed the first sunflower genome sequence. This new resource will assist future research programs using genetic tools to improve crop resilience and oil production. […]

  • Untangling the genetic legacy of tomato domestication
    on May 18, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Favorable mutations that went along with increased fruit size and other beneficial traits in tomato plants do not always play well together. A study published in Cell found that natural mutations in two important tomato genes that were selected for different purposes in breeding can cause extreme branching and reduce fruit yield when they occur in the same plant. The researchers used those genes to create a tomato plant that grows more tomatoes. […]

  • Impact of invasive plants can linger long after eradication
    on May 18, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    It is easy to assume that getting rid of invasive plants will allow a local ecosystem to return to its natural state, with native vegetation flourishing once again. However, the impact of weedy invaders can linger for years, a new report outlines. […]

  • Plants call 911 to help their neighbors
    on May 16, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    A professor teamed with a local high school student on research that found injured plants will send out warning signals to neighboring plants. The signals are sent through airborne chemicals released mainly from leaves. In the study, neighboring plants that received the signal responded by boosting their defenses. […]

  • Why did hunter-gatherers first begin farming?
    on May 16, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    The beginnings of agriculture changed human history and has fascinated scientists for centuries. Researchers have now shed light on how hunter-gatherers first began farming and how crops were domesticated to depend on humans. […]