By enhancing the resistance against pests, pathogens and abiotic stresses such as salts, drought and storms, silicon (Si) plays a crucial role in the development of sustainable rice production systems with lower or zero input of harmful pesticides, says a study.
Researchers have found that a magnetically sensitive protein called Cryptochrome that mediates circadian rhythms in plants and animals helps birds to sense the earth's magnetic field and use it to navigate over long distances.
Opening up opportunities to "redesign plants" for efficient biofuel production, researchers have identified the gene regulatory network that controls the formation of xylem -- the major component of wood.
The most ambitious genetic study ever, involving over 200 scientists from across the world and 23 research papers, undertaken on bird evolution has found that almost all modern birds diversified after the dinosaurs became extinct 66 million years ago.
When munched by grazing animals, herbaceous plants overcompensate - producing more plant matter and becoming more fertile than they otherwise would be. Scientists say they now know how these plants accomplish this feat of regeneration.
Offering fresh insights into how plants regulate genetic material so that some genes are turned on while others are turned off, a new study has revealed how plants could better adapt to and survive environmental swings such as droughts or floods.