2016 “How Plants Work” News Highlights – August

From How Sunflowers Track The Sun To Where Strawberries Came From

The eighth month of the year may be when many people are on holiday (at least in the Northern Hemisphere).

But plant science news didn’t take a holiday.

Indeed, there were so many popular reports published last August, it was difficult for me to select only a few.

Anyway, here are five that you may find particularly “tasty”.

  • Sunflowers not only pivot to face the sun as it moves across the sky during the day, but they also rotate 180 degrees during the night to greet the morning sun. UC Davis and UC Berkeley researchers have now discovered how they do it:

    How sunflowers follow the sun.

  • How rapidly increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, due primarily to human activities, and its climatic consequences will affect the Earth’s terrestrial vegetation is currently one of the most important and active areas plant-related research. Two new findings reported in August 2016 contributed to our understanding of the changes that occurring.

    A University of Otago botany researcher and colleagues have developed a new system to map the world’s “biomes”— large-scale vegetation formations — that will provide an objective method for monitoring how vegetation reacts as climate changes.

    New map of world vegetation reveals substantial changes since 1980s.

    New research from the University of British Columbia suggests evolution is a driving mechanism behind plant migration, and that scientists may be underestimating how quickly species can move.

    Evolution drives how fast plants could migrate with climate change: UBC study.

  • Last August it was reported that a new way of fixing inactive proteins has been discovered in a single-celled algae.

    This repair system may have applications in agriculture and biotechnology because it could potentially be harnessed to enable proteins to become active only in the light.

    Novel “repair system” discovered in algae may yield new tools for biotechnology.

  • Scientists from the University of New Hampshire have unlocked a major genetic mystery of one of the ancestors of cultivated strawberry.

    UNH scientists unravel genetic ancestry of cultivated strawberry.

    Next-Time: Find out what the most re-tweeted plant research news stories were during September 2016.

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