What’s New About How Plants Work? – Some “Tasty Tidbits” from 2013 (Fifth Course)

From Ancient Plants to Musical Trees

Back in May 2013 there was lots of interesting plant news.

Here are a few stories that I found quite “tasty”.

  • A researcher from the University of Alberta discovered plants exposed by retreating glaciers regrowing after centuries entombed under ice: 400-year-old plants reawaken as glaciers recede.
  • The fungus Phytophthora infestans changed the course of history. This fungal plant pathogen caused the Irish potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century. Even today, the Irish population has not completely recovered to pre-famine levels. In May 2013, an international team of scientists reported that they had discovered the identity of the exact strain of the potato blight responsible : “Whodunnit” of Irish potato famine solved.
  • In May 2013 some researchers at the University of Georgia reported on their investigations about how to harvest electricity directly from plants: Power plants.
  • A couple of other stories from May 2013 actually inspired blog posts here at howplantswork. One involved why strawberries smell like strawberries and the other is about fungal “Styrofoam™”.
  • An now for some dessert, on a musical note: a Turntable that “plays” the rings of trees.
  • Next Up: Plant news highlights from June 2013

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