Parasitic plants use stolen genes to make them better parasites

Some parasitic plants steal genetic material from their host plants and use the stolen genes to more effectively siphon off the host's nutrients. A new study led by researchers at Penn State and Virginia Tech reveals that ...

How plants become zombies

(Phys.org) —Forget popular video game Plants Vs. Zombies, some plants are zombies and scientists have uncovered how bacterial parasites turn them into the living dead.

Sexual reproduction only second choice for powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is one of the most dreaded plant diseases: The parasitic fungus afflicts crops such as wheat and barley and is responsible for large harvest shortfalls every year. Beat Keller and Thomas Wicker, both plant ...

Local genetic adaption helps sorghum crop hide from witchweed

Sorghum crops in areas where the agricultural parasite striga, also known as witchweed, is common are more likely to have genetic adaptations to help them resist the parasite, according to new research led by Penn State scientists. ...

Saving heather will help to save our wild bees

A new study published today in the journal Current Biology from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Royal Holloway, University of London, has discovered that a natural nectar chemical in Calluna heather called callunene can ...

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