Recent Posts

Nanoscale movements of cellulose microfibrils in primary cell walls ($)

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Cell walls are complex mixtures of cellulose microfibrils, proteins and other materials. Their mechanical properties can be measured and modeled, but it is not always simple to translate these measurements to changes at the molecular level. Zhang et al. used atomic force microscopy to provide an unprecedented…

Nature Outlook: Agriculture and Drought Sept 2013

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A Supplement from Nature about how drought affects agriculture (Free Access). "Climate change means the coming decades are likely to bring more frequent episodes of severe drought, with potentially devastating impact on the world's ability to feed a growing population. We therefore need a sustainable…

Nature Comment Aug 2015 "Water and climate: Recognize anthropogenic drought"

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California's current extreme drought must be a lesson for managing water in a warmer, more densely populated world, say Amir AghaKouchak and colleagues. View full article

From East Asia to South Asia, via Mexico: How One Gene Changed the Course of History (CIMMYT blog)

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In 1935, Japanese scientist Gonjoro Inazuka crossed a semi-dwarf Japanese wheat landrace with two American varieties resulting in an improved variety, known as Norin 10. Norin 10 derived varieties eventually ended up in the hands of Norman Borlaug, beginning one of the most extraordinary agricultural…

Intensification of phosphorus cycling in China since the 1600s (PNAS 2016)

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Useful article for Plant Nutrition lessons - how P use has changed over the past 400 years in China. "The biogeochemical cycle of phosphorus (P) has been massively altered in China, challenging its food security and causing eutrophication of freshwaters. This study shows, for the first time to our knowledge,…

Holding Their Ground (The Scientist, Feb 2016)

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Useful article for Plant Pathology lessons - an in-depth look at our current understanding of plant-pathogen interactions, including interviews from leaders in the field. "Just like animals, plants have to fight off pathogens looking for an unsuspecting cell to prey on. Unlike animals, however, plants…

Environmental Control of Root System Biology (Annu Rev Plant Biology 2016)

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Useful for Plant Development and Plant Physiology lessons. By Ruben Rellan-Alvarez, Guillaume Lobet, and Jose R. Dinneny An Open Access review article from Annual Reviews in Plant Biology, describing current research and models for root development.   Abstract The plant root system traverses…