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Soybeans growing against a black background.
How Do Plants Know Which Way is Up?
Despite centuries of study, scientists still make new discoveries about the mechanisms of gravitropism.
How Do Plants Know Which Way is Up?
How Do Plants Know Which Way is Up?

Despite centuries of study, scientists still make new discoveries about the mechanisms of gravitropism.

Despite centuries of study, scientists still make new discoveries about the mechanisms of gravitropism.

plant biology

Image of plant cells with chloroplasts (lilac) expressing the protein huntingtin (green).
Greening the Fight Against Huntington’s Disease
Laura Tran, PhD | Mar 1, 2024 | 2 min read
Plant chloroplasts offer insights for shielding against protein aggregation in Huntington’s disease.
A field of yellow sunflowers in front of a blue sky.
Chasing the Sun
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Nov 14, 2023 | 3 min read
Sunflowers may use a complex set of molecules to track the sun in the sky.
Quick and Reliable Plant DNA Extraction
Quick and Reliable Plant DNA Extraction
MilliporeSigma | 1 min read
An innovative, environmentally-friendly spin kit maximizes DNA isolation.
Green leaves in a row with varied degrees of black spots on a black background.
A New Drug Fixes a Leak Caused by Bacteria
Kamal Nahas, PhD | Nov 8, 2023 | 5 min read
Researchers discovered how virulent bacterial proteins leech nutrients from plant cells, leading to a potential treatment for diseased crops.
Plant (<em >Arabidopsis thaliana</em>) root tips analyzed with PHYTOMap.
Illuminating the Plant Gene Map
Laura Tran, PhD | Nov 2, 2023 | 4 min read
PHYTOMap revealed the intricate genetic plant landscape, which helped researchers better understand how cells and gene expression influence each other in three-dimensional space.
38631-ts-labtools-genetic-and-epigenetic-landscapes-webinar-banner-jp800x560
Investigating Genetic and Epigenetic Landscapes with Long-Read Sequencing
The Scientist Creative Services Team in collaboration with Oxford Nanopore | 1 min read
Matthew Naish will discuss what he learned about Arabidopsis thaliana centromeres from long-read sequencing experiments.
Venus flytrap plants grow in the lab, trigger hairs at the ready.
How the Venus Flytrap Captures Its Prey
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Oct 16, 2023 | 4 min read
Scientists used CRISPR-Cas9 for the first time in a carnivorous plant to prove the role of two ion channels in closing the Venus flytrap’s trap.
A transverse section of stem wood from the researchers&rsquo; greenhouse-grown poplar tree.
CRISPR Trees Could Improve Paper Production
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Aug 15, 2023 | 3 min read
Researchers edited several tree genes to improve suitability and sustainability in the pulp and paper industry.
An image of a pale, dead tree taken from the ground, so that the tree limbs stretch up into the sky.&nbsp;
Certain Tree Species Are More Susceptible to Death by Lightning
Hannah Thomasy, PhD | Dec 12, 2022 | 2 min read
Expected increases in lightning strikes due to climate change could alter the botanical composition of tropical forests.
crossword puzzle
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon | Dec 1, 2022 | 2 min read
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse
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
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Nov 30, 2022 | 10+ min read
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.
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. 
Rows of soybean plants with green leaves beneath a partially clouded sky with the rising sun in the background.
As Carbon Dioxide Goes Up, Plants’ Nutrient Content Declines
Dan Robitzski | Nov 3, 2022 | 5 min read
Abundant environmental CO2 can increase plant biomass and photosynthesis, but it has downsides for agriculture and ecosystems, a growing body of research finds.
A mesquite tree in an arid environment
Climate Change May Favor Nitrogen-Fixing Plants
Andy Carstens | Oct 17, 2022 | 2 min read
Aridity appears to configure landscapes with a greater diversity of plant species that rely on symbiotic bacteria for nitrogen.
pollen tubes releasing sperm into ovule
Science Snapshot: Go Forth and Multiply
Lisa Winter | Oct 6, 2022 | 1 min read
An honorable mention in the 2022 Nikon Small World in Motion competition shows thale cress sperm being released into the ovule.
Ferns bounced back much faster than other plants after the meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?
Amanda Heidt | Aug 15, 2022 | 6 min read
A strange layer in the fossil record contains evidence that fern populations exploded following the mass extinction that ended the Cretaceous period. Scientists want to know why.
A gametophyte of the brown alga <em>Desmarestia dudresnayi</em> that has both male and female reproductive structures
Meet the Algae That Went from Male/Female to Hermaphroditic
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Aug 1, 2022 | 2 min read
A study suggests that several species of brown algae may have independently evolved to express both sexes simultaneously, and it’s likely that female algae evolved male traits—not the other way around.
Two researchers hold up giant waterlily
Science Snapshot: Holily Molily
Lisa Winter | Jul 21, 2022 | 1 min read
The largest waterlily species in the world was incorrectly classified for more than 170 years.
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.
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