Science casts light on sex in the orchard

Persimmons are among the small club of plants with separate sexes—individual trees are either male or female. Now scientists at the University of California, Davis, and Kyoto University in Japan have discovered how sex ...

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 ...

The ethics of resurrecting extinct species

(Phys.org) —At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

Two branches of plant immune response closely linked

Like animals, plants need to be on a constant lookout to recognize and respond to invasion by microbes. Plant immunity consists of two branches—the initial defense begins with the detection of invaders by receptors at the ...

How the potato blight pathogen penetrates the plant

In the 19th century, the notorious pathogen Phytophthora infestans caused a large famine in Ireland and other parts of Western Europe. To this day, it continues to pose a major threat to global food production. It has long ...

Grafting with epigenetically-modified rootstock yields surprise

Novel grafted plants—consisting of rootstock epigenetically modified to "believe" it has been under stress—joined to an unmodified scion, or above-ground shoot, give rise to progeny that are more vigorous, productive ...

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