Resurrection Plants – How Do These Plants “Come Back To Life” After Near Total Dehydration?

“Near-Death Experience” One of the main problems for plants when they colonized terrestrial environments on Earth nearly a half billion years ago was how to survive the dryness. Today, much of a typical vascular plant’s anatomy, morphology and physiology is dedicated to obtaining and retaining water. Although most vascular plants…

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How Pruning Works: New Evidence In The Curious Case Of Apical Dominance

Plant Cut-Backs “Pruning is one of the most important cultural practices for maintaining woody plants, including ornamental trees and shrubs, fruits and nuts. It involves both art and science: art in making the pruning cuts properly, and science in knowing how and when to prune for maximum benefits.” (from ref.…

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iPlants – A Brief Look at Virtual Plants (From Avatar To Systems Biology)

iPlants: An Introduction From movies and video games to landscape design to education to scientific research, we are increasingly encountering plants in silico (that is, computer-simulated plants). Virtual plants fall into three categories: (1) computer-generated images, (2) outputs from computer algorithms, and (3) computer-searchable plant gene and protein databases. What…

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A Step Toward “Fixing” The Most Important Enzyme on Earth

The world’s most abundant and most important enzyme is RuBisCo. It’s the most abundant because it’s present in relatively large quantities in every photosynthetic organism on the planet – from microscopic cyanobacteria and phytoplankton in the oceans to the leaves of giant-sized trees in the tropics. It’s also the most…

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Plant Mythbusters (#1) – Seeds From Ancient Egyptian Tombs That Germinate

A Truly Ancient Grain? The wheat variety called Kamut® has a fascinating history. According to “Kamut®: Ancient Grain, New Cereal”, one of the original growers, and one of the trademark holders, of Kamut®, Robert M. Quinn recounts the story of this unusual wheat variety. “Following WWII, a US airman claimed…

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