Creek and old-growth forest-Larch Mountain

The Role of Prions in Plants: An Overview

The diseases out there in the world seem limitless. Every new nook and cranny we uncover shows new lifeforms and new diseases they cause or that are subjected upon them. The Earth is just a melting pot of infection (and parasitism) of every species trying to take advantage of every other. Due to their ubiquity, […]

A thaliana seedlings (cropped)

Manipulating The Plant-Bacteria Microbiome To Optimize Growth

When dealing with plants in a lab, in a garden, or in an agricultural field, we often forget that there was originally a whole biome that those plants were involved in in the wild. We often try to simulate those conditions to the best of our capabilities, but there is still so much knowledge we […]

Cuscuta campestris

Parasitic Plants Manipulate the Genetic Expression of Their Host Plants

The arms race in the plant world is a brutal competition for dominance where failure means death. As scientific understanding of genetics has broadened over the decades, we’ve also come to realize that the organisms in nature have been utilizing even the most complicated of these mechanisms for their advantage in order to survive. Any […]

Soybeans Schoharie Crossing State Historical Site, Fort Hunter NY 2807

Nonhost Resistance Protects Soybeans From Sudden Death Syndrome

Sudden death syndrome is, as the name would suggest, a devastating disease. It first emerged in Arkansas in 1971 and has since spread across the US and even into South America by the 1990’s, causing heavy fatalities. The fungus that causes it, Fusarium virguliforme, can be considered the root of one of the most deadly […]

Heat affected crop during a green drought

Drought Tolerance: Recent Efforts in Biotechnology

Drought continues to be a primary driver of famine and crop loss around the world, with the accompanied water shortages not only affecting food production, but also drinking water availability. It is predicted that, by 2025, over two and a half billion people will be facing those sort of water shortages, especially as the effects […]

Проводящий пучок Pteridium aquilinum

Plants Fight Flooding From Climate Change With Root Bending

Recent events shed a light on what we possibly face in the future, as hurricanes and other weather events become more severe due to the increased energy capacity of the atmosphere from greenhouse gas influx. The colloquial term for this process is climate change. And scientists are hard at work on finding ways to mitigate […]

Brown rice

Golden Rice 3.0 Offers Iron and Zinc In Addition To Vitamin A

Nutrition and a sufficiently rounded diet of vitamins and minerals is key to remaining healthy. This is true for every person in the world. Unfortunately, there are many, billions even, that lack critical nutrients in their diets. This is often due to a combination of poverty, location, climate, and a societal and cultural focus on […]

Root cyst nematode infection

Parasites Hijack Plant Stem Cells For Gall Tumor Growth

The horrors of nematodes may never cease, but they can teach us some surprising things, including a method of plant control that may completely alter our approach in dealing with the nematodes themselves. Infestation and Takeover The first step to explaining this new insight is to break down how the nematodes infect plants in the […]

Golden Rice

Vitamin Biofortification: Using Biotechnology To Improve Nutrition

Vitamin deficiencies plague practically every civilization in the world. Even in countries that are well-off, members of the population still have to watch their food intake and ensure that they are consuming an array of foods in order to meet their needs. Governments and food producers often supplement this by adding necessary vitamins into most […]