International Sugar Journal

Breakthrough in plant synthetic biology [Full subscriber]

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Jilin Agricultural University have used a systematic approach to screen a library of promoters and terminators, where their performance was transiently evaluated in reporter assays. The characterized promoters were then employed for engineering the betalain pathway in Nicotiana benthamiana, a tobacco relative.

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Self-irrigating soil could transform farming in dry regions [Full subscriber]

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a soil additive that can pull water from the air and distribute it to plants, potentially expanding the map of farmable land around the globe to previously inhospitable places and reducing water use in agriculture at a time of growing droughts.

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Antiviral mechanism in plant stem cells discovered [Full subscriber]

Plant stem cells and their newly differentiated daughter cells in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) provide cells for all aboveground organs during postembryonic development. This tissue is free from viral invasion. Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) have offered new insights into this incredible ability.

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Bioengineering plants to turn them into biofactories for new molecules [Full subscriber]

Plants can produce a wide range of molecules, many of which help them fight off harmful pests and pathogens. Biologists have harnessed this ability to produce many molecules important for human health — aspirin and the antimalarial drug artemisinin, for example, are derived from plants. Now, researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Stanford University have designed and engineered new synthetic metabolic pathways to create new-to-nature biopesticides with novel anti-fungal activity.

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Genes from baker’s yeast help plants tolerate contaminated soils [Registered]

Most plant species, including crops, cannot tolerate the toxic effects of soil pollutants, which dramatically impair their growth and development. Researchers at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC; Portugal) have discovered two genes in baker’s yeast that are capable of increasing plant resistance to a broad range of contaminants. This could allow plants and crops to thrive despite soil pollution.

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Breakthrough in understanding aging in plants [Registered]

Researchers at Tohoku University have identified a previously uncharacterized type of autophagy, during which an autophagic process termed chlorophagy removes collapsed chloroplasts in plant leaves. The findings could lead to new methods for controlling the aging of plants.

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Researchers discover how plants’ largest cell factory moves to maintain vital functions [Registered]

Researchers at the Michigan State University have for the first time identified how plants’ largest cell factory moves to maintain vital functions, which could lead to advances in improving plant cells’ critical functions and growing better crops.

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Plant “chemical factory” – effective nonenzymic alternative to produce valuable chemicals [Registered]

Researchers at the University of York have found a ‘chemical factory’ on the surface of plant leaves could help produce more commercially useful products.

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Study finds carbon-hungry plants impede growth rate of atmospheric CO2 [Registered]

New findings suggest the rate at which CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere has plateaued in recent years because Earth’s vegetation is grabbing more carbon from the air than in […]

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How a fungus inhibits plants immune system [Registered]

Researchers from universities of from Cologne and Würzburg have discovered a protein from a fungus that is able to suppress the innate immune system of plants.

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