Entries by Danielle Roodt Prinsloo

Using natural wood as a cost-effective alternative in solar steam generation

Using solar irradiation effectively for steam generation is a promising renewable energy source for a wide variety of applications, including large-scale power generation, desalination, water purification and sterilization, which is particularly important in remote areas where solar power is often the only reliable or available energy source. Traditional methods of solar steam generation are ineffective […]

Mycorrhizal fungi shaped the evolution of terrestrial plants

Mutualistic associations between plants and fungi are incredibly widespread, occurring in 90% of extant land plants, and likely are the most ecologically important symbiotic relationships on Earth. Fungi played an integral part in land plant evolution; roots only evolved after early land plants colonised terrestrial environments and these associations allowed for mutualistic exchange of inorganic […]

How asparagus recently changed its lifestyle from hermaphroditism to distinct males and females

Sex determination in the animal kingdom has been relatively well studied, with two main systems responsible for the sexes in mammals, insects, birds, reptiles and fish; XY and ZW sex-determination. Although much is still unknown about these systems, with many exceptions being discovered to previously considered rules, there is agreement that both these systems are […]

The role of botanical gardens in species conservation

Botanical gardens are sanctuaries where plant diversity is celebrated, conserved, studied, and shared. As more species are put under pressure from anthropogenic activities, the importance of botanical gardens in preserving and protecting threatened species is increasing. A recent study on the role of botanical gardens in ex situ plant conservation has emphasized the role these […]