Image: Richard Wheeler/Wikimedia Commons. By way of a bit of an advertisement for the news site of another science organ – and to dispel any doubts that I am a complete techno-phobe – I’m happy to publicise information concerning recent plant-relevant DNA sequencing activities (originally sourced from the article by Hannah Waters at http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/58161/), which [...]
Archive for May, 2011
Over a century ago, the gametophytic calyptra was predicted to be covered by a cuticle that protects the sporophyte apex from desiccation. Budke et al. examine the moss Funaria hygrometrica using electron microscopy techniques and find that its calyptra is covered by a comparatively thick, multi-layered cuticle with cuticular pegs. The calyptra and its associated [...]
Pollination shift in Neotropical Malpighiaceae Flowers of Neotropical Malpighiaceae have a specialized pollination system in which floral oils instead of nectar are offered to attract oil-collecting bees. Cappellari et al. examine facultative loss of oil production by non-oil-secreting (eglandular) flowers in relation to pollination by bumblebees in populations of Pterandra pyroidea from the Brazilian Cerrado. [...]
Increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations may affect competition for resources between reproduction and shoot growth in forest species. Han et al. examine mature beech (Fagus sylvatica) trees in masting and non-masting years with or without long-term CO2 enrichment and find that a reduction in shoot growth associated with masting is not observed under elevated CO2. Competition [...]
Genotypic diversity is essential for maintenance of plant species. Van Mölken and Stuefer examine White clover mosaic virus and Trifolium repens and show that the effects of virus infection on plant performance can differ greatly between distinct host genotypes, resulting in changes in relative fitness between virus-infected and control treatments. This suggests that virus infections [...]
As the northern hemisphere’s hay fever season gets into full swing, there is encouraging news from Mother Nature’s own medicine cabinet. Hay fever – ‘seasonal allergic rhinitis’ – is an allergic inflammation of the nasal airways, and the most common atopic disease in the industrialised world (10–25 % of that population are martyrs to the malady). [...]
An article highlighting the continuing decline in the number of students pursuing degrees in plant science.