Plant signals trigger remarkable bacterial transformation

The cycad Cycas revoluta is a palm-like plant that grows on rocky coastal cliffs in the sub-tropics and tropics. It has a symbiotic relationship with the Nostoc species of bacteria that can convert nitrogen from the atmosphere ...

The quest to save the banana from extinction

Panama disease, an infection that ravages banana plants, has been sweeping across Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. The impact has been devastating. In the Philippines alone, losses have totalled US$400m. And the ...

Harnessing plant hormones for food security in Africa

Striga is a parasitic plant that threatens the food supply of 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.Scientists have found that they can take advantage of Striga's Achilles' Heel: if it can't find a host plant, it dies.The ...

Study finds natural selection favors cheaters

Mutualisms, which are interactions between members of different species that benefit both parties, are found everywhere—from exchanges between pollinators and the plants they pollinate, to symbiotic interactions between ...

Metabolite stimulates a crop while suppressing a weed

A newly discovered, naturally occurring metabolite that promotes growth in rice plants and thwarts infestation by a common parasitic plant could help improve global food security, say KAUST researchers. Plant scientists are ...

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