2016 “How Plants Work” News Highlights – September

From Plant Secrets To Plant Antibiotics

What were the five most re-tweeted and favorited plant news stories that I shared in September of last year?

Well, here they are, in order of popularity, lowest to highest.

  • Scientists from the John Innes Centre have pioneered innovative new cell imaging techniques to shed light on cells hidden deep inside the meristem. This new development has made it possible to explore further below the outer surface of plants and has uncovered how a key gene controls stem growth.

    Peeling back the layers: scientists use new techniques to uncover hidden secrets of plant stem development.

  • While we already knew that plant roots were capable of sensing many individual soil characteristics (water, nutrients and oxygen availability), we did not have any understanding of how they integrated these signals in order to respond in an appropriate way. Researchers from CNRS and INRA have just discovered a mechanism that allows a plant to adjust its water status and growth according to different soil flooding conditions.

    How plant roots sense and react to soil flooding.

  • “The mutualistic relationship between tree roots and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi has been shaping forest ecosystems since their inception.

    How fungi help trees tolerate drought.

  • A team that includes a Virginia Tech plant scientist recently used life sciences technology to edit 14 target sites encompassing eight plant genes at a time, without making unintended changes elsewhere in the genome.
    The technology, a genome-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9, revolutionized the life sciences when it appeared on the market in 2012. It is proving useful in the plant science community as a powerful tool for the improvement of agricultural crops.

    New study of CRISPR-Cas9 technology shows potential to improve crop efficiency.

  • One researcher thinks the drugs of the future might come from the past: botanical treatments long overlooked by Western medicine.

    Could ancient remedies hold the answer to the looming antibiotics crisis?

    So, ethnobotany actually wins over CRISPR-Cas9…

    Next-Up: What were some of the “tastier” plant science news stories in October 2016?

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