What’s New About How Plants Work? – Some “Tasty Tidbits” from 2012 (Fourth Course)
Back to April 2012….
Among the plant-related news items published in April 2012 were stories ranging from the proposed “next generation” of genetically-engineered (a.k.a., GMO) crops to the control of plant flowering to plant defensive mechanisms to new techniques for studying plants at the cellular level.
In response to growing numbers of so-called super weeds, resistant to the herbicide Roundup®, some chemical companies are now developing GMO crops resistant to the old herbicide 2,4-D, which some consider a really bad idea.
Dow’s new GMO “Agent Orange corn”, nearing approval, runs into opposition.
What triggers the transition from a vegetative state to a flowering state in angiosperms has been one of the most active and fascinating fields of research in biology. Recently, the identity of the so-called “flowering hormone” Florigen was discovered, and, since then, new pieces of the puzzle have been added.
A blossoming field of research: how Florigen is transported to create flowers.
In April 2012, a new study by Rice University scientists revealed that plants can use mechanical stimulation to fight off fungal infections and insects.
A bit touchy: Plants’ insect defenses activated by touch.
As a backyard gardener, I found the following news item especially interesting.
Not just for fruit trees – grafting vegetables to fight fungal diseases.
And for today’s “dessert”, shining a bit of light on plant cell biology (see image above left)
Lighting up plant cells to engineer biology.
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