How to manage plant pests and diseases in your victory garden

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted interest in home gardening. Three scientists who garden explain some basic methods for controlling common insects and microbes that can spoil your crop.

Carolee Bull, Professor of Plant Pathology and Systematic Bacteriology, Pennsylvania State University • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: bacteria covid-19 insects soil plants fungi viruses integrated-pest-management gardening nematodes weeds land-grant-universities plant-health victory-garden

Gardenias show how plants became great chemists

Sequencing the gardenia genome shows how plants evolved to re-use tricks from their genetic toolbox to create new chemicals.

Charlotte Hsu-Buffalo • futurity
June 25, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: dna evolution plants genomes science-and-technology flowers

Crop pathogens are more adaptable than previously thought

Fungi and other organisms called oomycetes are highly adaptable. That's bad news for the global food supply.

Antonis Rokas, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Biological Sciences, Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Informatics, and Director of the Vanderbilt Evolutionary Studies Initiative, Vanderbilt University • conversation
June 23, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: evolution climate-change yeast plants fungi crops food-security plant-pathogen

Plants kill cells so they don’t pop

To stop their cells from exploding after a downpour, plants trigger them to self-destruct. Now researchers know more about how.

Marta Wegorzewska-WUSTL • futurity
June 18, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: water plants rain cells science-and-technology

Quantum trick from nature provides ‘roadmap’ to better solar tech

Scientists think quantum coherence may play a role in photosynthesis. A new study shows it can offer a roadmap to better solar cells.

Kim Ward-Michigan State • futurity
June 15, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: plants materials-science photosynthesis biomimicry quantum-physics science-and-technology

Satellites can spot eco damage from fog loss

Climate change is reducing fog that many plants rely on for water. New research shows scientists can spot the problem from space.

Kevin Fryling-Indiana • futurity
June 10, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: climate-change water plants satellites earth-and-environment fog

Gene makes plants produce less pollen

Darwin observed that some plants produce less pollen (and some animals less sperm). New research clarifies how that can be an advantage.

U. Zurich • futurity
June 10, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: reproduction evolution genes plants pollen science-and-technology

Glacier mice: these herds of moss-balls roam the ice – and we’re uncovering their mysteries

Glacier mice aren't rodents – they're mysterious balls of moss that manage to live in one of the world's harshest environments.

Stephen Coulson, Project Manager, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences • conversation
June 8, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: plants ice glaciers mosses polar-ecology

How legume ‘fertilizer factories’ make ammonium

Mapping the mechanism that lets legumes make their own ammonium fertilizer could help make agriculture more sustainable.

Fabio Bergamin-ETH Zurich • futurity
June 3, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: bacteria agriculture plants nitrogen earth-and-environment roots fertilizer

It’s tough to get seeds, but you can garden with scraps

Can you garden without seeds? And how about regrowing veggies from scraps? Here are answers and resources.

NC State • futurity
June 1, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: food plants vegetables gardening science-and-technology

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