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?
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.
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?

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 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.

plant biology
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 | Aug 1, 2022
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
The largest waterlily species in the world was incorrectly classified for more than 170 years.
Quick and Reliable Plant DNA Extraction
Quick and Reliable Plant DNA Extraction
MilliporeSigma
An innovative, environmentally-friendly spin kit maximizes DNA isolation.
dense evergreen forest with mountains in distance
Climate Change Likely to Slow Plant Growth in Northern Hemisphere
Margaret Osborne | Jun 14, 2022
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
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.
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
Matthew Naish will discuss what he learned about Arabidopsis thaliana centromeres from long-read sequencing experiments.
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
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
Researchers can now explain how some marine plants obtain their nitrogen.
outside view of flooded research greenhouses
Flooding and Storms Wreak Havoc for Australian Scientists
Bianca Nogrady | Mar 4, 2022
Record-breaking rainfall has caused widespread flooding and devastation in Queensland and New South Wales, forcing the closure of some university campuses.
Man in personal protective equipment (glasses, gloves, cap, and coat) watching plants go through a piece of machinery.
Canada Approves World’s First Plant-Based COVID-19 Vaccine
Natalia Mesa | Feb 25, 2022
Canada has ordered 76 million doses of Covifenz, the main ingredient of which was manufactured in the leaves of a tobacco relative.
Sunflowers, in visible spectrum on left half (yellow colors) and UV spectrum on right half (purple and white colors).
Sunflowers’ Bee-Attracting Ultraviolet Also Helps Retain Moisture
Natalia Mesa | Feb 8, 2022
The dual purposes of the plants’ hidden colors may conflict as the climate warms, authors of a new study suggest.
Single white snowdrop flower
Plants in UK Bloom a Month Earlier Than in 1980s: Study
Natalia Mesa | Feb 2, 2022
Scientists warn that climate change–induced early flowering could have negative effects on wildlife, agriculture, and gardening.
A fresh, peeled lychee fruit held above a harvest of fresh lychees
Genome Spotlight: Lychee (Litchi chinensis)
Christie Wilcox | Jan 27, 2022
Whole genome sequences reveal multiple domestications of this agriculturally important tree and may hold the secrets to producing the sweet fruit year round.
Formed of various flowers, this personification cartoon of a female botanist, painted by George Spratt, was pasted into Allen’s copy of The English Flora.
La Botaniste, 1810–1865
Sukanya Charuchandra | Jan 4, 2022
Elaborate annotations hidden in a copy of Sir James Edward Smith’s The English Flora hinted at the life of a mysterious woman botanist.
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
A look back at some of the articles we most enjoyed reading, writing, and editing this year
Invasive <em>Phragmites australis</em> in North Carolina's Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
Genome Spotlight: Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
Christie Wilcox | Dec 23, 2021
The first reference-quality genome for this grass species could aid managers in understanding and eradicating this highly invasive plant.
Photograph looking up a tree trunk
Contrary to Common Belief, Some Older Trees Make Fewer Seeds
Annie Melchor | Nov 1, 2021
An analysis of more than half a million trees reveals that many species begin to taper off seed production once they hit a certain size.
Arabidopsis thaliana flowers
Plants Use RNA to Talk to Neighbors
Alejandra Manjarrez | Oct 21, 2021
A study finds that plants sharing the same growth medium can exchange microRNAs that silence genes in the recipient, suggesting the nucleic acids may act as signaling molecules.
Plant cryptospore fossil found in 480 million-year-old Australian rock
Discovered: Fossilized Spores Suggestive of Early Land Plants
Ruth Williams | Aug 12, 2021
Spores found in 480 million-year-old rock bring the fossil record in line with molecular estimates of when plants first adapted to life on land.