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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
Abundant environmental CO2 can increase plant biomass and photosynthesis, but it has downsides for agriculture and ecosystems, a growing body of research finds.
As Carbon Dioxide Goes Up, Plants’ Nutrient Content Declines
As Carbon Dioxide Goes Up, Plants’ Nutrient Content Declines

Abundant environmental CO2 can increase plant biomass and photosynthesis, but it has downsides for agriculture and ecosystems, a growing body of research finds.

Abundant environmental CO2 can increase plant biomass and photosynthesis, but it has downsides for agriculture and ecosystems, a growing body of research finds.

plants
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.
Hawaiian Bobtail squid
Symbiotic Organs: Extreme Intimacy with the Microbial World
Catherine Offord | Oct 3, 2022 | 10+ min read
All multicellular creatures interact with bacteria, but some have taken the relationship to another level with highly specialized structures that house, feed, and exploit the tiny organisms.
Molecular Farming: The Future of Pharmaceuticals
The Scientist Speaks - Molecular Farming: The Future of Pharmaceuticals
Niki Spahich, PhD | 1 min read
Julian Ma discusses past, present, and future uses of plant biotechnology for disease treatments.
Illustration of a Hawaiian Bobtail squid
Infographic: Symbiotic Organs Bring Hosts and Microbes Closer
Catherine Offord | Oct 3, 2022 | 2 min read
Specialized structures in plants and animals help attract and mediate communication with bacterial symbionts.
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.
Older woman with grey hair staring at the camera
Adriana Hoffmann, Botanist and Environmentalist, Dies at Age 82
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Apr 18, 2022 | 4 min read
Hoffmann traveled through Chile cataloging its rare flora. Later, she fought to defend the country’s forests from commercial deforestation.
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.
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, PhD | Feb 25, 2022 | 2 min read
Canada has ordered 76 million doses of Covifenz, the main ingredient of which was manufactured in the leaves of a tobacco relative.
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.
A fresh, peeled lychee fruit held above a harvest of fresh lychees
Genome Spotlight: Lychee (Litchi chinensis)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Jan 27, 2022 | 3 min read
Whole genome sequences reveal multiple domestications of this agriculturally important tree and may hold the secrets to producing the sweet fruit year round.
Invasive <em>Phragmites australis</em> in North Carolina's Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
Genome Spotlight: Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Dec 23, 2021 | 3 min read
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 | 2 min read
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.
Plant cryptospore fossil found in 480 million-year-old Australian rock
Discovered: Fossilized Spores Suggestive of Early Land Plants
Ruth Williams | Aug 12, 2021 | 3 min read
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.
A scanning electron micrograph of the picozoan Picomonas judraskeda
Picozoans Are Algae After All: Study
Christie Wilcox, PhD | May 6, 2021 | 5 min read
Phylogenomics data place the enigmatic plankton in the middle of the algal family tree, despite their apparent lack of plastids—an organelle characteristic of all other algae.
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.
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.
Space-Grown Lettuce Is Safe and Astronaut-Approved
Amy Schleunes | Mar 9, 2020 | 2 min read
NASA’s vegetable production system, known as Veggie, may help pave the way for more sophisticated systems that could supplement astronauts’ diets during long trips to space.
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