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 […]

Restoring an urban stream (after) (7557277790)

Bioremediation: The Biology of Cleaning Environmental Pollution

Contamination of the environment is a topic oft spoken of in an incredibly broad sense. That the actions of some governments or organizations are damaging to their surroundings comes as no surprise, but discussions on the specifics and what can be done to fix the issues rarely comes up in the public societal consciousness. The […]

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 […]

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 […]

A juvenile root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) penetrates a tomato root - USDA-ARS

Genetic Protection For Plants Against Parasitic Worm Attack

Parasitic worms aren’t only a threat to animal or insects, plants have to deal with them as well. The Worms Attack While these sorts of worms may not outright kill their target plants, they can significantly damage them by causing root and nutrient pathways, like the xylem and phloem, to become deformed from the worms […]

Roots by cesarpb

Plants Use Root Structures To ‘Listen’ And Search For Water

Water is important for life. It is a primary source of structure and function in all life forms, even including viruses that use it as interstitial fluid for containing their viral genome. For organisms that produce their own complex compounds, commonly known as autotrophs, water remains the main source of outside material they need to […]