HPW Retrospectacles 2018 – July

Field Number Seven (CC BY 2.0) by Jim Larrison

From Crowdfunded Plant Science to Bad Fertilizer.

Citizen-funded scientific research is an interesting concept, made real by the internet. An example of how crowdfunded research paid off was reported last July.

Also in the plant science news in July 2018 were articles regarding plant evolution, progress in engineering nitrogen-fixing bacteria in non-symbiotic plants, and potential deleterious effects of fertilizing plants.

  • Passing the Hat for Ferns?: “On July 17, 2014, the world decided it wanted to learn the genomic secrets hidden in the beautiful little, floating water fern, Azolla filiculoides. Not only did they want to know, but they paid for it too – a whopping $22,160 from 123 backers – through a crowdfunding site called Experiment.com.”
    Fern-tastic! Crowdfunded fern genomes published in Nature Plants
  • Toward Nitrogen-Fixing Corn?: ”Legumes are able to grow in nitrogen-poor soils due to their ability to engage in symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. There is a great interest in using the knowledge about this symbiosis, to enable transfer to other non-symbiotic plants. An international research team has come a step further to understanding this complex biological process.”
    New receptor involved in symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia identified

Tomorrow: From how plants tell time to saving the American chestnut….

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