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Light determines the genes that function in plant growth

February 14, 2018

The xylem is essential for transporting water across the entire plant body. Its development is heavily regulated by VASCULAR-RELATED NAC-DOMAIN (VND) genes. Scientists report a new experimental system that shows three VND genes are necessary for xylem differentiation in cotyledons in darkness but not in light. The study gives clues on how environmental factors can be modified to stimulate plant growth.

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Source: Science Daily By: Nara Institute of Science and Technology

Proper Almond Irrigation Practices for This Season

February 13, 2018

An unusual amount of precipitation during late 2016 and early 2017 provided some much-needed relief to California’s Southern San Joaquin Valley, helping to recharge aquifers and restore water supply allocation. In a report by University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Fresno County Nut Crop Advisor Mae Culumber, “Tips for Better Orchard Irrigation Scheduling,” Culumber detailed the consequences of the wet conditions, showing that, despite the relief brought by the rain, there can be too much of a good thing.

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Source: Growing Produce By: Amanda Gallagher

Plants feel the heat, especially at night

February 13, 2018

Scientists have solved a 79-year-old mystery by discovering how plants vary their response to heat stress depending on the time of day. This understanding could help with breeding commercial crops able to produce higher yields in hotter climates as predicted under climate change.

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Source: Science Daily By: University of Cambridge

Global warming could cause key culinary crops to release seeds prematurely

February 12, 2018

Climate change is threatening crop yields worldwide, yet little is known about how global warming will confuse normal plant physiology. Researchers now show that higher temperatures accelerate seed dispersal in crop species belonging to the cabbage and mustard plant family, limiting reproductive success, and this effect is mediated by a gene called INDEHISCENT.

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Source: Science Daily By: Cell Press

Study shows cover crops may increase yields over time

February 11, 2018

Farmers need more research showing cover crops increase yields, reduce erosion and add nutrients back to the soil in corn-soybean rotation before they adopt the practice, says University of Missouri researcher Ranjith Udawatta. Few farmers in the Corn Belt, especially Missouri, have adopted the practice, says Udawatta, a research professor in soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences. He hopes his research and that of others encourages policymakers to consider cost-share programs with incentives to adopt the use of cover crops.

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Source: High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal By: Linda Geist

Yuma, AZ hosts new study to help soil health and irrigation management

February 9, 2018

A year and a half ago, a group of people came to The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture (YCEDA) asking for them to do a study on irrigation management and soil health. Now with that study underway, it is attracting researchers from all over are coming to Yuma to use new technologies to help conserve water and eliminate salt in the soil during crop production.

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Source: KYMA News By: Caitlin Slater

Sweet route to greater yields

February 7, 2018

Three years ago, biotechnologists demonstrated in field trials that they could increase the productivity of maize by introducing a rice gene into the plant that regulated the accumulation of sucrose in kernels and led to more kernels per maize plant. They have now unraveled the intimate details of the relationships governing the increased productivity and hope to transfer the biotechnology to other cereals, such as wheat and rice.

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Source: Science Daily By: Rothamsted Research