Tag Archives: plant growth

Plants Respond to Leaf Vibrations Caused by Insects’ Chewing, MU Study Finds

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Previous studies have suggested that plant growth can be influenced by sound and that plants respond to wind and touch. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri, in a collaboration that brings together audio and chemical analysis, have determined that plants respond to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating plants and that the plants respond with more defenses. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Kiwamu Tanaka, Plant Biologist

Dr. Kiwamu Tanaka, an aspiring scientist, is currently doing research on Role of extracellular ATP in plant growth and development at the Division of Plant Sciences in the University of Missouri. He completed his doctoral work at The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences in the Kagoshima University, Japan. Recently we spoke with Dr. Tanaka to know about his research work, especially regarding the study published in Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6168.290), and also about why it is important, how life as a research scientist is, and so on. So let’s hear from Dr. Tanaka:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Dr. Kiwamu Tanaka: My scientific career has focused on plant-microbe interactions that can be utilized to enhance crop plant growth for agricultural purposes. Especially I had had a strong interest in biological nitrogen fixation by nodulation which is the result of a symbiosis between legume plants and special soil bacteria rhizobia. Nodulation results in the formation of a specialized organ, the nodule, where biological nitrogen fixation takes place. Given that plants cannot utilize aerial nitrogen, even though this is a primary nutrition for plants, nodulation is a great natural system by plant-microbe interaction. (more…)

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SMART scholar

Oceanography graduate student lands scholarship supporting wetland research

Growing up along Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, Brandon Boyd spent a lot of time hunting for waterfowl and fishing for speckled trout in marshes and swamps. There, wetlands are a way of life.

“Ever since I was in high school, I knew I really wanted to do something to help protect wetlands,” said Boyd, a graduate student in oceanography in the School of Marine Science and Policy within the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment(more…)

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Droughts are Pushing Trees to the Limit

Droughts in the Southwest made more severe by warming temperatures are putting plants in stressful growing conditions, a new study has found, identifying an increasingly water-thirsty atmosphere as a key force that sucks moisture from plants, leading to potentially higher stress – especially in mid and low elevations.

As temperatures rise and droughts become more severe in the Southwest, trees are increasingly up against extremely stressful growing conditions, especially in low to middle elevations, University of Arizona researchers report in a study soon to be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences.

Lead author Jeremy Weiss, a senior research specialist in the UA department of geosciences, said: “We know the climate in the Southwest is getting warmer, but we wanted to investigate how the higher temperatures might interact with the highly variable precipitation typical of the region.” (more…)

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Thawing Permafrost Could Release Vast Amounts of Carbon and Accelerate Climate Change by the end of this Century

*New computer modeling study, led by a Berkeley Lab scientist, could help revise understanding of permafrost’s role in global warming*

Billions of tons of carbon trapped in high-latitude permafrost may be released into the atmosphere by the end of this century as the Earth’s climate changes, further accelerating global warming, a new computer modeling study indicates.

The study also found that soil in high-latitude regions could shift from being a sink to a source of carbon dioxide by the end of the 21st century as the soil warms in response to climate change. (more…)

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Mastermind Steroid Found in Plants

Palo Alto, CA — Scientists have known for some time how important plant steroids called brassinosteroids are for regulating plant growth and development. But until now, they did not know how extensive their reach is. 

Now researchers, including Yu Sun and Zhi-Yong Wang at Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology, have identified about a thousand brassinosteroid target genes, which reveal molecular links between the steroid and numerous cellular functions and other hormonal and light-activated chain reactions. The study, published in the November 16, 2010, issue of Developmental Cell, provides the first comprehensive action map for a plant hormone. The research will help accelerate basic plant science and crop research.  (more…)

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