HPW Retrospectacles 2018 – April

(4) Four of diamonds (CC BY-SA 2.0) by wikioticslan

From What Makes Plants Flower To “Sleeping” Trees.

The subject of trees seemed to received a lot of attention in the April 2018 plant science news. The stories ranged from what actually constitutes a “tree” to how tree canopies seem to move during the night.

Also, new clues to what, at the cellular level, initiates flowering were reported, along with a novel approach to possibly inoculating plants against insect pests and disease.

  • What is a Tree?: “Despite numerous studies and 30-plus genomes under their belts, scientists are still struggling to nail down the defining traits of these tall, long-lived, woody plants.”
    What makes a tree a tree?
  • Vaccines for Plants?: “Novel technologies are being sought to replace the traditional pesticides used to protect plants, particularly edible plants such as cereals. A new collaborative project between the University of Helsinki and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is shedding light on the efficacy of environmentally friendly RNA-based vaccines that protect plants from diseases and pests.
    A vaccine for edible plants? A new plant protection method on the horizon
  • “Sleeping”Trees?: “High-precision three-dimensional surveying of 21 different species of trees has revealed a yet unknown cycle of subtle canopy movement during the night. The ‘sleep cycles’ differed from one species to another. Detection of anomalies in overnight movement could become a future diagnostic tool to reveal stress or disease in crops.
    Trees are not as sound asleep as you may think

Tomorrow: From cocoa CRISPR to artificial plant cells….

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