Targeting seed microbes to improve seed resilience

Fonio (Digitaria exilis), a type of millet, is the oldest indigenous crop in West Africa and one of the fastest-maturing cereals. Despite its low yield, the combination of quick maturation and drought tolerance and its ability ...

How a wayside weed builds up explosive force to hurl seeds

Hairy bittercress is one of those plants that hurl their seeds in all directions to spread them effectively. A research team has now discovered that to do this, the plant uses a previously unknown mechanism that makes the ...

Asexual propagation of crop plants gets closer with new study

When the female gametes in plants become fertilized, a signal from the sperm activates cell division, leading to the formation of new plant seeds. This activation can also be deliberately triggered without fertilization, ...

Invasive rodent research may help protect Hawaiian forests

O'ahu, Hawaii, is an island rife with lush nature, expansive ocean views and, increasingly, invasive rodents. House mice, black rats and Pacific rats all have contributed to ecological destruction in Oʻahu's forests, and ...

The palm tree that lives beneath the rainforest floor

In the heart of western Borneo's vibrant jungles, the edible fruits of the underground palm are well-known to the local people who snack on them. But this botanical marvel has remained unnoticed by the scientific community ...

New design improves water decontamination via plasma jet

Plasma is an ionized gas—that is, a gas containing electrons, ions, atoms, molecules, radicals, and photons. It is often called the fourth state of matter, and surprisingly, it permeates everything. Plasmas, which are artificially ...

Designing the 'perfect' meal to feed long-term space travelers

Imagine blasting off on a multiyear voyage to Mars, fueled by a diet of bland, prepackaged meals. As space agencies plan for longer missions, they're grappling with the challenge of how to feed people best. Now, researchers ...

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