Plant biologists at UC Davis have discovered a way to make crop plants replicate through seeds as clones. The long-sought discovery could make it easier to propagate high-yielding, disease-resistant or climate-tolerant crops and make them available to the world’s farmers.
In a study appearing in Science, researchers show that the pesticide imidacloprid, which has been sold in the U.S. since 1994, disrupts bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) nest behavior, causing reduced growth in exposed colonies.
With robotics, computers and advanced genetics, researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have established a core set of genes that help plants metabolize nitrogen, the key to plant growth and crop yield.
In a study appearing in Cell Host & Microbe, UC Davis graduate student Neeraj Lal, Professors Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar and Andrew J Fisher and their colleagues reveal the versatility of plants’ molecular defenses. The findings provide a strategic map revealing how plants allocate resources and have the potential to help bolster crop immune systems and improve their development and growth.