How do plants balance microbial friends and foes?

Plants are constantly exposed to microbes: Pathogens that cause disease, commensals that cause no harm or benefit, and mutualists that promote plant growth or help fend off pathogens. For example, most land plants can form ...

Tree fungus reduces fertilizer requirement for ketchup tomatoes

Tomatoes are an important and popular crop, but the tasty ketchup, salsa and pasta sauce they yield comes at a price: overuse of chemical fertilizers. Now, researchers report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry ...

A revolutionary approach to increasing crop yield in rice

A group of scientists led by Drs Toshinori Kinoshita and Maoxing Zhang (Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules,Nagoya University, Japan) and Dr. Yiyong Zhu (Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Solid Organic Waste ...

Eat more to grow more arms… if you're a sea anemone

Your genetic code determines that you will grow two arms and two legs. The same fate is true for all mammals. Similarly, the number of fins a fish has and the number of legs and wings an insect has are embedded in their genetic ...

Genes controlling mycorrhizal colonization discovered in soybean

Like most plants, soybeans pair up with soil fungi in a symbiotic mycorrhizal relationship. In exchange for a bit of sugar, the fungus acts as an extension of the root system to pull in more phosphorus, nitrogen, micronutrients, ...

Better anchor roots help crops grow in poor soils

A metabolite in plants that regulates the growth of anchor roots—vital for sustaining water and nutrient uptake in plants—has been identified and may have useful applications in agriculture.

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