HPW Retrospectacles 2018 – November

“It goes to eleven.” (CC BY 2.0) by Paul L Dineen

From “Friendly” Bacteria To Plants In The “Fast-Lane”.

A key word in the plant science news of November 2018 appears to be “heat”…from how hot temperatures affects plant genetics to how hot (as in spicy) plants may be used for pain relief.

Also featured in last November’s news was how plants interact with other living organisms…from bacteria to ants and, also, why some plants “live fast and die young”.

  • Inside Plants, Microbe Versus Microbe?: “Fungi and other filamentous microbes called oomycetes cause many devastating plant diseases and are together responsible for more than 10% of all crop loss. A groundbreaking new study now shows that even healthy plants host potentially harmful fungi and oomycetes in plant roots. That they do not succumb to illness is due to the simultaneous presence of a wide range of different co-residing bacteria, which regulate the balance among these different microorganisms in plant roots and thus ensure plant survival in nature.”
    With a little help from their friends: plants rely on their resident bacteria to protect them from harmful microbes
  • Hot To Trot?: “The stress of hotter temperatures may trigger a response in a plant’s RNA, or ribonucleic acid — part of a cell’s genetic messaging system — to help manage this change in its environment, according to a team of Penn State researchers.
    Hot temperatures can trigger an RNA response in plants
  • Ants In The Plants?: “Plants are boring. They just sit there photosynthesizing while animals have all the fun. Right? Not so much. Take a look at the interactions between ants and plants—plants have evolved features specifically to make them enticing to ants, like juicy nectar for the insects to eat and hollow thorns for them to take shelter in.
    How plants evolved to make ants their servants
  • “Hot” Plants Key To Pain Relief?: “The Moroccan Euphorbia resinifera plant produces a resin so spicy that it attains a whopping 16,000,000,000 on the Scoville scale, 10,000x hotter than a Carolina reaper chili. The active ingredient in this resin is resiniferatoxin, AKA RTX, which has proven incredible promising in early animal trials for treating chronic pain.
    A plant so spicy it can destroy nerves, giving pain relief
  • Plants In The “Fast-Lane”?: “An international team led by researchers at The University of Manchester have discovered why some plants “live fast and die young” while others have long and healthy lives.
    Why do some plants live fast and die young?

Next-Time: From how plants sense temperature to a plant-robot hybrid….

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