ADVERTISEMENT
A lobed leaf next to a rounded leaf, both from the same Boquila trifoliolata vine
Can Plants See? In the Wake of a Controversial Study, the Answer’s Still Unclear
A tiny pilot study found that so-called chameleon vines mimicked plastic leaves, but experts say poor study design and conflicts of interest undermine the report.
Can Plants See? In the Wake of a Controversial Study, the Answer’s Still Unclear
Can Plants See? In the Wake of a Controversial Study, the Answer’s Still Unclear

A tiny pilot study found that so-called chameleon vines mimicked plastic leaves, but experts say poor study design and conflicts of interest undermine the report.

A tiny pilot study found that so-called chameleon vines mimicked plastic leaves, but experts say poor study design and conflicts of interest undermine the report.

plant
bright green plant cells in long diagonal rows
Plant Biologist Jane Silverthorne Dies at 69
Katherine Irving | Nov 8, 2022 | 2 min read
Silverthorne shaped the development of many NSF programs driving innovation in plant biology and agriculture. 
A C-fern (Ceratopteris richardii) growing in a pot
Genome Spotlight: C-fern (Ceratopteris richardii)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Sep 22, 2022 | 5 min read
Sequences for the model organism and two of its kin reveal how these plants got their oversized genomes.
Tortoise leaf beetle on a green leaf
The Double Life of a Fungus: Defends Beetle, Attacks Plant
Andy Carstens | Aug 19, 2022 | 4 min read
Tortoise leaf beetles enjoy the protection the fungus provides from insect predators such as ants, then carry the microbe to a mutual plant host, which their fungal symbiont infects.
dense evergreen forest with mountains in distance
Climate Change Likely to Slow Plant Growth in Northern Hemisphere
Margaret Osborne | Jun 14, 2022 | 2 min read
While the higher temperatures and CO2 levels associated with climate change currently fuel plant productivity, a study finds that changing conditions could take a toll on photosynthesis rates in regions outside the Arctic within a decade.
A young arctic fox on green grass
Arctic Greening Won’t Save the Climate—Here’s Why
Donatella Zona, The Conversation | Mar 30, 2022 | 4 min read
The growing season on the tundra is starting earlier as the planet warms, but the plants aren’t sequestering more carbon, a new study finds.
Natural sunbeams underwater through water surface in the Mediterranean sea on a seabed with neptune grass, Catalonia, Roses, Costa Brava, Spain
Marine Plant Partners with Microbes Like Terrestrial Plants Do
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Mar 14, 2022 | 3 min read
A seagrass relies on symbiotic bacteria inside its roots to fix nitrogen. This is the first time scientists have demonstrated that this relationship occurs in a marine plant.
Infographic showing how a new bacteria species called <em>Candidatus Celerinatantimonas neptuna</em> lives in seagrass and how it provides the plant with nitrogen
Infographic: Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Live Inside Seagrass Roots
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Mar 14, 2022 | 1 min read
Researchers can now explain how some marine plants obtain their nitrogen.
Single white snowdrop flower
Plants in UK Bloom a Month Earlier Than in 1980s: Study
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Feb 2, 2022 | 2 min read
Scientists warn that climate change–induced early flowering could have negative effects on wildlife, agriculture, and gardening.
collage of images related to favorite stories, including black and white photo of flowers, illustration of two rats, human body with floating coronaviruses
The Scientist Editors’ Favorite Stories of 2021
The Scientist Staff | Dec 28, 2021 | 5 min read
A look back at some of the articles we most enjoyed reading, writing, and editing this year
two tomato plants in pots viewed from the top, one scraggly with yellow leaves and one healthier-looking
Stress-Response Compound Widespread in Animals Is Found in Plants
Shawna Williams | May 22, 2021 | 4 min read
TMAO appears to both stabilize other plant proteins and influence the expression of stress-response genes, researchers report.
Aphid Salivary Gene May Regulate Gall Color
Asher Jones | May 1, 2021 | 2 min read
Whether the galls that aphids make on witch hazel leaves are red or green is associated with a gene expressed in the insects’ salivary glands.
different varieties of ground and unground coffee beans in bowls and plates on a table
Rediscovered Coffee Species Tastes Great, Tolerates Warmth: Study
Shawna Williams | Apr 20, 2021 | 2 min read
Cultivating stenophylla, untapped by the coffee industry for the last century, could help farmers cope with the effects of climate change, researchers suggest.
Astragalus nitidiflorus inaturalist extinct plant conservation taxonomy
Seventeen “Extinct” European Plant Species Found Alive
Katarina Zimmer | Mar 11, 2021 | 6 min read
Plant species officially reported to be lost are in fact persevering in the wild, in seed banks or botanical gardens, or as other species now recognized to be taxonomic synonyms.
Infographic: A Plant Cell’s Cuticle Helps Regulate Toxic Chemical Accumulation
Ashley Yeager | Feb 1, 2021 | 1 min read
Researchers found that thinning petunia cells’ cuticles caused them to slow production of volatile organic compounds.
Siobhán Brady Uses Big Data to Investigate Plant Development
Shawna Williams | Feb 1, 2021 | 3 min read
The University of California, Davis, professor is a pioneer in teasing apart the changes in gene expression that drive root development.
Plant Cells Swap Organelles
Abby Olena, PhD | Jan 7, 2021 | 3 min read
Their relocation explains horizontal genome transfer first described more than a decade ago.
Herbivore Body Size Influences Grazing Behavior, Poop Quality
Catherine Offord | Nov 1, 2020 | 3 min read
Researchers disentangle complex connections among vegetation, herbivores, and dung in the South African savanna.
Infographic: Herbivore Dung Nutrients Vary Across the Savanna
Catherine Offord | Nov 1, 2020 | 1 min read
In South Africa, the composition of droppings varies by species’ body sizes, and which animals are found where depends on vegetation density.
Image of the Day: Bubbling Plants
Emily Makowski | Nov 18, 2019 | 1 min read
Plants use two different strategies to photosynthesize underwater.
ADVERTISEMENT