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Plant Biology

showing 1-5 of 39 breaks

The plant with the spider-like poison – Australia’s giant stinging tree

Deep in the rainforests of eastern Australia, all along New South Wales up to south-eastern Queensland, one can find Dendrocnide excelsa, the giant stinging tree. Key to its name, the stinging tree possesses thin, felt-like hairs on its leaves that, in reality, act as densely... click to read more

  • Ralph Bulanadi | PhD Student at Department of Quantum Matter Physics, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Views 1146
Reading time 4 min
published on Apr 6, 2021
Crop yield responses to conservation agriculture in Africa

Food demand in sub-Saharan Africa will increase drastically in the coming decades due to rapid population growth and a rise in wealth. Maize is the main African staple crop in terms of calorie intake. However, yields are low and have been stagnating. For example, average... click to read more

  • Marc Corbeels | Senior researcher at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Nairobi, Kenya; French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France
Views 764
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Mar 24, 2021
How a mint turned into catmint

The plant catmint, also known as catnip, is named after its notorious effect on cats. When cats sniff or rub against catmint, it drives them to act strangely: rolling over, pawing and rubbing. Its scientific name is also feline-inspired: Nepeta cataria. The cause of the cats'... click to read more

  • Benjamin R. Lichman | Lecturer at Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK
Views 1543
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Feb 17, 2021
How a type of expanding thread dictates plant growth

Have you ever wondered how plants can raise road surfaces and crack concrete? Unraveling this enigma requires understanding how plants grow and generate their shapes. Surprisingly, this simple question is still an open mystery. In all multicellular organisms, the space between adjacent cells is made up... click to read more

  • Kalina T. Haas | Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, INRAE, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78000, Versailles, France
  • Alexis Peaucelle | Researcher at Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, INRAE, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78000, Versailles, France
Views 2819
Reading time 2 min
published on Nov 12, 2020
How scientists light up their tobacco

The beauty of a night filled with glowing fireflies is possible through a process called bioluminescence, which allows a living organism to emit light using a chemical reaction. Among the known bioluminescent organisms are different bacteria, as well as fireflies, jellyfish, and certain mushrooms. Organisms... click to read more

Views 1593
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Nov 9, 2020