Probing the evolution of photosynthetic life on the early Earth
In a famous cartoon, a fish morphs slowly into a human as it forsakes water for dry land. With sly humor, this doodle actually captures a pervasive narrative of evolutionary history: the oceans are life's cradle, with life gaining the continents only later. Seemingly, the... click to read more
Will gene therapy save the banana?
It’s got to be one of the most popular fruits around: the banana. Although there are over a 1000 varieties, few people realize that almost the whole banana export is dependent on one type of banana, the Cavendish. This banana - cultivated by the personal... click to read more
The fragrance of plants: how their perfume pervades the air
One of the most seemingly boring aspects of plants is perhaps the most exciting. Plants are sessile organisms, which means that they do not move. In order to respond to environmental stresses and to interact with other organisms, plants instead rely on a chemical language. Volatiles,... click to read more
Bringing the flavor back to modern tomatoes
While many people remember the wonderful flavor of a garden-grown heirloom tomato, this flavor is not found in modern commercial tomatoes. Modern tomato breeding has focused on disease resistance, yield, shelf-life and firmness for shipping. While these traits are essential for large scale year-round production... click to read more