Experiments illuminate key component of plants' immune systems

Plants, like humans and animals, have over millions of years evolved complex immune systems that fend off invading pathogens. But unlike many animals, plants lack adaptive immunity conferred by antibodies. This means each ...

Study gauges trees' potential to slow global warming in the future

Like the eponymous character in Shel Silverstein's classic children's tale, trees are generous with their gifts, cleaning the air we breathe and slowing the ravages of global warming by absorbing about a quarter of all human-caused ...

Spotting tomato blight with a smartphone

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed portable technology that allows farmers to identify plant diseases in the field. The handheld device, which is plugged into a smartphone, works by sampling the ...

Plants defend against insects by inducing 'leaky gut syndrome'

Plants may induce "leaky gut syndrome"—permeability of the gut lining—in insects as part of a multipronged strategy for protecting themselves from being eaten, according to researchers at Penn State. By improving our ...

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 ...

Megadrought caused mega biodiversity loss

Researchers at CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, have painstakingly reconstructed the nation's 'once in a century drought' in the early 1900s, revealing that it caused mass ecosystem collapse and dramatic declines ...

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Plant

Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. They include familiar organisms such as trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. About 350,000 species of plants, defined as seed plants, bryophytes, ferns and fern allies, are estimated to exist currently. As of 2004, some 287,655 species had been identified, of which 258,650 are flowering and 18,000 bryophytes. Green plants, sometimes called metaphytes or viridiplantae, obtain most of their energy from sunlight via a process called photosynthesis.

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