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  • Artificial light
  • First flower reconstruction
  • blue chrysanthemum
Your search has returned 278 articles:
  • News

    Light pollution can foil plant-insect hookups, and not just at night

    For flowers, too much light at night could lead to a pollination hangover by day.

    Far from any urban street, researchers erected street lights in remote Swiss meadows to mimic the effects of artificial light pollution. In fields lit during the night, flowers had 62 percent fewer nocturnal visitors than flowers in dark meadows, researchers report August 2 in Nature.

    For one of the...

    08/02/2017 - 16:45 Conservation, Plants, Animals
  • News in Brief

    A new portrait of the world’s first flower is unveiled

    Our view of the earliest flowers just bloomed. A new reconstruction, the most detailed to date, suggests the flowers were bisexual, with more than five female reproductive organs, or carpels, and more than 10 male reproductive organs, or stamen. Petallike structures, grouped in sets of three, surrounded the sex organs, researchers report August 1 in Nature Communications.

    Flowering...

    08/01/2017 - 12:44 Plants, Evolution
  • News

    Borrowed genes give mums the blues

    Mums are now a flower of a different color. Japanese researchers have added a hint of clear sky to the humble plant’s palette, genetically engineering the first-ever “true blue” chrysanthemum.

    “Obtaining blue-colored flowers is the Holy Grail for plant breeders,” says Mark Bridgen, a plant breeder at Cornell University. The results are “very exciting.”

    Compounds called delphinidin-...

    07/26/2017 - 15:45 Plants, Genetics, Chemistry
  • Science Ticker

    This robot grows like a plant

    View the video

    Robots are branching out. A new prototype soft robot takes inspiration from plants by growing to explore its environment.

    Vines and some fungi extend from their tips to explore their surroundings. Elliot Hawkes of the University of California in Santa Barbara and his colleagues designed a bot that works on similar principles. Its mechanical body sits inside a plastic...

    07/19/2017 - 17:26 Robotics, Plants
  • News in Brief

    How a crop-destroying fungus mutated to infect wheat

    A wheat strain that let its guard down may have paved the way for a crop-destroying fungus to infect the species.

    About 1980, Brazilian farmers began growing a strain of wheat called Anahuac, which is suited to the country’s nonacidic soils. And that, researchers report July 7 in Science, may be when wheat started to lose an arms race with blast fungus (Pyricularia oryzae, also known as...

    07/10/2017 - 08:00 Genetics, Plants
  • News

    Hermaphrodite wildflower has its own battle of the sexes

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Petals of wildflowers called starry campions may be a pretty little battleground for a sexual skirmish between the plant’s male and female parts.

    As is common in flowers, each Silene stellata bloom forms both male and female sex organs. After measuring petal variation between plants and tracking parenthood of seeds, Juannan Zhou suspected a sexual tug-of-war.

    ...

    07/07/2017 - 08:00 Plants, Evolution
  • News

    How to eavesdrop on kelp

    BOSTON — If kelp growing in an underwater forest makes a sound, such noises could be used to keep tabs on ocean health.

    Listening to how projected sound reverberates through kelp beds allows scientists to eavesdrop on environmental factors such as water temperature and photosynthetic activity, bioacoustician Jean-Pierre Hermand reported June 28 at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of...

    07/06/2017 - 06:00 Plants, Ecology
  • News

    Petunias spread their scent using pushy proteins

    When it comes to smelling pretty, petunias are pretty pushy.

    Instead of just letting scent compounds waft into the air, the plants use a particular molecule called a transporter protein to help move the compounds along, a new study found. The results, published June 30 in Science, could help researchers genetically engineer many kinds of plants both to attract pollinators and to repel...

    06/29/2017 - 14:00 Plants, Cells, Genetics
  • News in Brief

    Floral curve test shows what’s great for a moth is not so good for a flower

    PORTLAND, ORE. — A great flower shape for a moth trying to get a drink in the dark turns out to be awful from the plant’s point of view.

    Offering hawk moths (Manduca sexta) a range of 3-D printed flowers with different curvatures shows that a moderately curved trumpet shape lets moths sip most efficiently, Foen Peng reported June 24 at the Evolution 2017 meeting. That’s a win for a...

    06/27/2017 - 10:00 Plants, Evolution, Animals
  • News

    Genetic switch offers clue to why grasses are survival masters

    Grasses have top-notch border control to conserve water in their leaves. Now, scientists have identified the genetic switch that makes them such masters at taking in carbon dioxide without losing water. The find might eventually help scientists create more drought-resistant crop plants, the researchers report in the March 17 Science.  

    Adjustable pores called stomata on the undersides of...

    03/20/2017 - 15:35 Plants, Cells, Physiology