What’s New About How Plants Work? – “Tasty Tidbits” From 2014 (Eleventh Course)
From Plants In Space To Secret Worlds
Is this penultimate sampling of the plant-related news from 2014 science or science fiction?
Well, it’s definitely science.
Why not take a taste and see for yourself.
The force of gravity has a profound effect on the growth and development of plants. But what happens when you remove gravity by growing plants on the International Space Station?
Find out at: Plants return to Earth after growing in space.
Last November scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Labs “…announced a new way to dramatically increase crop yields by improving upon Mother Nature’s offerings. A team led by Associate Professor Zachary Lippman, in collaboration with Israeli colleagues, has discovered a set of gene variations that can boost fruit production in the tomato plant by as much as 100%.“
See how they did it at: Getting more out of Nature: genetic toolkit finds new maximum for crop yields.
“Using a new technique to study an old problem, an Agricultural Research Service scientist in North Carolina has uncovered new details about what happens to a cereal plant when it freezes.”
Get a clearer picture of this at: New Imaging Technique Leads to Better Understanding of Freezing in Plants.
“Plants grow in environments where the availability of light fluctuates quickly and drastically, for example from the shade of clouds passing overhead or of leaves on overhanging trees blowing in the wind. Plants thus have to rapidly adjust photosynthesis to maximize energy capture while preventing excess energy from causing damage. So how do plants prevent these changes in light intensity from affecting their ability to harvest the energy they need to survive?“
Discover a possible answer to this question at: Switching on a dime: how plants function in shade and light.
Fungi live in darkness. Since they don’t do photosynthesis, they don’t require light. But they also live in a kind of “darkness” in another way. Because they are often hard to see, most people don’t notice them, except for maybe the mushrooms at the grocery store. In this way, they’re sort of “dark” (unknown) to most people, including many scientists. Recently, “…A light has been shone on the world of fungi through a global study that reveals the staggering and previously unknown diversity of species.“
Explore this new world at: The secret world of fungi revealed.
Next-Time: For our last taste of 2014…a few surprises.
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