Plants

  1. Silverleaf whiteflies
    Plants

    A major crop pest can make tomato plants lie to their neighbors

    Insects called silverleaf whiteflies exploit tomatoes’ ability to detect damage caused to nearby plants.

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  2. Astronomy

    Readers have questions about Ultima Thule, thirsty plants and vitamin D

    Readers had comments and questions about Ultima Thule, photosynthesis and more.

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  3. joshua tree
    Plants

    Shutdown aside, Joshua trees live an odd life

    Growing only in the U.S. Southwest, wild Joshua trees evolved a rare, fussy pollination scheme.

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  4. 3-D visualization chloroplasts fighting microbes
    Plants

    How light-farming chloroplasts morph into defensive warriors

    Researchers now know which protein triggers light-harvesting plant chloroplasts to turn into cell defenders when a pathogen attacks.

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  5. tobacco farmer
    Agriculture

    A new way to genetically tweak photosynthesis boosts plant growth

    A new chemical road map for a process called photorespiration in plant cells could reduce energy waste to increase plant productivity.

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  6. conifer fossil
    Paleontology

    More plants survived the world’s greatest mass extinction than thought

    Fossil plants from Jordan reveal more plant lineages that made it through the Great Dying roughly 252 million years ago.

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  7. South American maize varieties
    Archaeology

    Corn domestication took some unexpected twists and turns

    A DNA study challenges the idea people fully tamed maize in Mexico before the plant spread.

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  8. scientists with hybrid rice plants
    Plants

    Hybrid rice engineered with CRISPR can clone its seeds

    New research has created self-cloning hybrid rice, raising hopes of higher food production.

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  9. cactus spine poking a finger
    Plants

    Cactus spine shapes determine how they stab victims

    The shapes of cactus spines influence how they poke passersby.

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  10. researcher holding sockeye salmon
    Ecosystems

    How researchers flinging salmon inadvertently spurred tree growth

    Scientists studying salmon in Alaska flung dead fish into the forest. After 20 years, the nutrients from those carcasses sped up tree growth.

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  11. cacao beans
    Archaeology

    Ancient South Americans tasted chocolate 1,500 years before anyone else

    Artifacts with traces of cacao push back the known date for when the plant was first domesticated by 1,500 years.

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  12. Radula perrottetii
    Plants

    Liverwort plants contain a painkiller similar to the one in marijuana

    Cannabinoids found in liverwort plants could spell relief for those suffering from chronic pain.

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