The rains of November help to bring out the mushrooms in the forests of North America. And, fittingly, one of the most popular plant-related stories of November 2015 was a tale of “Sex, death and mushrooms”.
According to a report published last November, wheat “…provides a fifth of global caloric intake.” And “Estimates put potential losses from wheat rust diseases in Australia alone at more than one-and-a-half billion dollars each year.” So, it wasn’t surprising that a paper, published late last year, announcing the identification of a key wheat disease-resistance gene attracted a lot of interest.
I’ve long believed that most people underestimate the importance of plants. But some people also believe that plants possess some sort of innate “intelligence”. What do you think? The BBC weighed in on the subject last November…..
Are algae plants? According to one botanical webpage: “Most algae are traditionally considered as a plant subkingdom within the 5-kingdom classification. The diagnostic characters of the algal group as a whole were ill-defined, but nevertheless vastly different from the well-defined traits of the other two plant subkingdoms, namely the bryophytes and vascular land plants. Other biologists who were convinced that not all algae are plants revised the classification, preferring algae to be placed in Kingdom Protista, with only some multicellular phyla, particularly the Chlorophyta, Rhodophyta and Phaeophyta, remaining as plants. Then there were other biologists who regarded some of these multicellular forms to be placed in Kingdom Protista. The result was, and still is confusion.“
Anyway, however you consider algae, they were in the plant news several times in November 2015.
Next-Time: Wrapping up the 2015 plant news retrospective….
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