How salt stops plant growth

Until now it has not been clear how salt, a scourge to agriculture, halts the growth of the plant-root system. A team of researchers, led by the Carnegie Institution's José Dinneny and Lina Duan, found that not all types ...

Biology trumps chemistry in open ocean

Single-cell phytoplankton in the ocean are responsible for roughly half of global oxygen production, despite vast tracts of the open ocean that are devoid of life-sustaining nutrients. While phytoplankton's ability to adjust ...

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, ...

Length of pregnancy influenced by placenta structure

The nine-month pregnancy in humans is influenced by the structure of the placenta, according to new research into the evolution of reproduction in mammals which ends a 100-year mystery.

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.

Fungi adapted to mines boost plant growth

(PhysOrg.com) -- Repopulating the moon-like terrain around abandoned mines is slow, plodding work, but a new Indiana University Bloomington report in Applied Soil Ecology suggests symbiotic fungi specifically adapted to toxic ...

Genome duplication aids plant's survival in saline soils

(Phys.org) —Having more than two sets of chromosomes can increase a plant's ability to take up nutrients and survive in saline soils, a joint study by Purdue University and the University of Aberdeen shows.

Researchers image roots in the ground

It's a familiar hazard of vacation time: While you're conspicuously absent, your colleagues in the office forget to water and fertilize the plants - often leaving behind nothing but a brownish skeleton. Whether a plant thrives ...

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 ...

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