Plant “Fountain of Youth”? – Increasing the Longevity of Plants Through Genetic Modification

Forever Young? In a previous post, we saw how some Spanish scientists genetically modified (GM) plants in the genus Pelargonium (more commonly known as geraniums) so that they don’t produce pollen. (You can view the abstract of this paper here or read a provisional copy of the complete paper via…

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Nothing To Sneeze At: Making Pollen-Free Plants Using Genetic Engineering

Sneeze The pollen from some plants can cause allergic rhinitis, a.k.a., “hay fever” in many people. This is because, when the pollen is inhaled into the nasal passages, antigens on the surface of the pollen elicit an immune response in people with a sensitized immune system. (In grass pollen, the…

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Plant “Puberty” – Acquiring A “License To Flower”

Is There a Single Flower-Inducing Pathway? It’s well known that “florigen” is the signal that triggers the transition from vegetative to reproductive development in plants that flower in response to photoperiod. But some plants, for example the “Night-Neutral” (a.k.a., “Day-Neutral”) plants, apparently initiate flowering because of factors other than night…

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How Stress Shapes Plants

To make complex organisms takes specialized cells. Animals and flowering plants require specialized cells with distinct abilities in order to accomplish higher order functions – such as vision or flowering. It’s somewhat like a symphony orchestra. The orchestra integrates different musicians playing different instruments. The characteristic sounds of the instruments…

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