Anticancer compound found in monsoon-season delicacy

A small-branched shrub found in India known locally as Moddu Soppu (Justicia wynaadensis) is used to make a sweet dish during the monsoon season by the inhabitants of Kodagu district in Karanataka exclusively during the monsoons. ...

Frequent fire too hot to handle for invasive plants

Land managers know one of the best ways to prevent forest fires is to set fires. Periodic controlled or prescribed burns can reduce the amount of flammable materials lying about on a forest floor, so when wildfires do start, ...

How maize makes an antibiotic cocktail

Maize (Zea mays) produces a plethora of antibiotics called zealexins. Even though scientists have identified at least 15 zealexins, they suspect there are even more to find. Zealexins are produced in every corn variety and ...

Newly discovered enzyme helps make valuable bioactive saponins

Many plants, including legumes, make naturally occurring chemicals called saponins. For example, the medicinal plant licorice produces the saponin glycyrrhizin, a potent natural sweetener that also has antiviral and other ...

E. coli bacteria offer path to improving photosynthesis

Cornell University scientists have engineered a key plant enzyme and introduced it in Escherichia coli bacteria in order to create an optimal experimental environment for studying how to speed up photosynthesis, a holy grail ...

Scientists unlock crops' power to resist floods

Enzymes that control a plant's response to lower oxygen levels could be manipulated to make vital crops resistant to the impacts of flooding triggered by climate change, new research shows.

Scientists discover ancient enzymes evolve new tricks

Plants, herbivores, and pathogens are locked in a war for survival that is hundreds of millions of years old. Rooted in place and with no way to run, plants evolved complex, chemical-producing machinery in their cells to ...

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