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

From Golden Trees to Moldy Fruit

The plant news from October 2013 offered quite a smorgasbord of delicious topics.

Here’s a lip-smacking sampling of some of them (though one is a bit moldy):

  • Geoscientists in Australia have discovered gold particles in the leaves, twigs and bark of eucalyptus trees. Find out how this may affect gold mining in: There’s gold in them thar trees.
  • Arabidopsis thaliana “…has become the dominant model plant in genetics research because of its simple genetics and ease of use in a research environment. Thousands of trays of the humble weed are cultivated in laboratories across the world, but it turns out they may actually contain a rather oddball plant.” Why? Find out in:
    Scientists have been studying the wrong plant.
  • How long have flowering plants (angiosperms) existed on Earth? According to several popular college textbooks, the currently-accepted time is from 125 to 150 million years. But a report from October 2013 provides evidence that angiosperms may have existed for much longer:
    Flowering plant origins pushed back 100 million years.
  • The fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea can infect more than 200 plant species, causing serious gray mold disease on almost all fruits and vegetables. In October of last year researchers described the strategy by which this fungus blocks the defense system of its host plants. See how in:
    How an aggressive fungal pathogen causes mold in fruits and vegetables.

    Stay Tuned for more plant news nuggets from November 2013.

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