Carbon allocation, the process by which plants invest carbon into stored reserves and structures such as new leaves, stem tissue and roots, has implications for topics as varied as drought tolerance, carbon sequestration and crop yield. An upcoming special issue of Tree Physiology addresses the issue of carbon allocation in a series of articles ranging [...]
Archive for June, 2012
Land plants arose from a common ancestor at least 470 million years ago and presently encompass four major lineages: liverworts, mosses, hornworts and tracheophytes. By integrating paleontological, morphological, developmental, genetic and phylogenetic data, Ligrone et al. reconstruct the divergence of these lineages and the evolution of fundamental land plant characters. They conclude that the last [...]
The tiny seeds of the obligate root parasitic plants of the Orobanchaceae do not germinate unless they detect chemical signals from a suitable host plant. After crossing the two closely related species Orobanche cernua and O. cumana, Plakhine et al. find hybrid families that do not need chemical stimulation for germination. This lethal trait appears only [...]
Starting a blog, that is. It’s good to see PLoS Biology following Annals of Botany’s lead and starting their own blog, PLoS Biologue ;-) A recent post by Lisa Gross, Reach out and teach someone, gives some nice case studies of how the content of PLoS Biology is being used in education to stimulate students to [...]
Early life history stages are among the most critical phases in the life cycle of plants. De Frenne et al. assess the response of plant regeneration from seed of two forest understorey plants (Anemone nemorosa and Milium effusum) to variations in temperature along a latitudinal gradient. They find decreasing seedling emergence and fitness towards the northern [...]
Suaeda maritima shows morphologically different forms on high and low areas of the same salt marsh. Wetson et al. demonstrate that roots of this halophyte have a constitutively very high activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) regardless of whether they are growing in aerated or severely hypoxic conditions, and not the inducible increase in activity that has [...]
Uses and Abuses of Plant-Derived Smoke is a book I stumbled upon while looking for something else. It’s tempting to say it’s a very niche subject; the authors say this is the first book on the topic. After reading the introduction I’ve no reason to doubt what the authors say is true, but they make such a strong case that plant smoke has been neglected that it is surprising that more study hasn’t been done.