Category: Research Findings

Tropical Plants: Definition and Importance

What does Tropical Plant mean? A tropical plant is a plant that grows naturally in a tropical climate. A tropical climate is typically hot and humid, with temperatures constantly exceeding 18 degrees Celsius, with zero frost days. In colder climates north of the equator, tropical plants can be grown as houseplants and

Reasons why “Super Gro” remains the Best among All

Super Gro is a product of NEOLIFE, a company that specializes in natural and nutritional health products for human and plants. Super Gro is a 100% organic liquid fertilizer, which is made from poultry droppings and sea bird guano. Being made from organic matter with absolutely no chemicals added to it, it

Implications of access to high-quality fruits and vegetables

Quality has potential to impact consumer selection and consumption in rural areas   Researchers at Montana State University in Bozeman have published a study showing how access to high-quality fruits and vegetables or lack thereof strongly influences whether healthy foods make it to a person’s breakfast, lunch or dinner plate.   “Fruit

Gene boosts rice growth and yield in salty soil

Discovery of a gene that helps rice plants grow in salty soil paves the way to developing salt-tolerant crops Members of the research team collecting samples in a rice paddy field in Changsha, China. Credit: Jianzhong Lin Around 20% of the world’s irrigated land is considered to contain elevated concentrations of salt,

How spiders can harm and help flowering plants

Summary: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Now researchers show that this principle also holds for crab spiders and flowering plants. While it’s true that the spiders do eat or drive away useful pollinators such as bees, they’re also attracted by floral scent signals to come and help if the

Lizards, mice, bats and other vertebrates are important pollinators, too

Study reviews the global importance of vertebrate pollinators for plant reproduction   Bees are not the only animals that carry pollen from flower to flower. Species with backbones, among them bats, birds, mice, and even lizards, also serve as pollinators. Although less familiar as flower visitors than insect pollinators, vertebrate pollinators are

Why some Beetles like Alcohol

Beetles share the work of cultivating their fungal gardens: some clean the tunnel systems that are being eaten into the wood, others clear the dirt from the nest and clean their fellow workers always with the aim of optimizing the symbiosis of beetle and fungus. Credit: Gernot Kunz If on a warm

Crops with higher levels of a protein require 25 percent less water

Scientists engineer crops to conserve water, resist drought Engineered plants conserve 25 percent more water by only partially opening their mouth-like stomata, allowing less water to escape through transpiration while carbon dioxide enters the plant to fuel photosynthesis. Credit: Jiayang Xie, Katarzyna G?owacka, Andrew D. B. Leakey Agriculture already monopolizes 90 percent

Diverse tropical forests grow fast despite widespread phosphorus limitation

In Panama’s lowland tropical forest, tree species growing on low phosphorus soils grew faster, on average, than species growing on high phosphorus soils. Credit: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Accepted ecological theory says that poor soils limit the productivity of tropical forests, but adding nutrients as fertilizer rarely increases tree growth, suggesting that

Forage-based diets on dairy farms produce nutritionally enhanced milk

Markedly higher levels of health-promoting fatty acids reported Summary: Researchers have found that cows fed a 100 percent organic grass and legume-based diet produce milk with elevated levels of omega-3 and CLA, and thus provides a markedly healthier balance of fatty acids. The improved fatty acid profile in grass-fed organic milk and

How Pigs learn from Each other

Kune Kune piglets possess social learning skills and have an astonishingly good memory   Kune Kune piglets are able to learn from older pigs around them and copy actions of older pigs just by watching.  Credit: Vetmeduni Vienna Pigs are not normally thought to be especially intelligent. New research, however, has shown

How Lightweight Robots can Harvest Cucumbers for you in your Farm

  A prototype of the dual-arm robot system during the first field tests. Credit: © Fraunhofer IPK   Automation-intensive sectors such as the automotive industry are not the only ones to rely on robots. In more and more agricultural settings, automation systems are superseding strenuous manual labor. As part of the EU’s

Think of honeybees as ‘livestock,’ not wildlife, argue experts

These are commercial honeybee hives in the Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain. Credit: Alfredo Valido Alfredo Valido  The ‘die-off’ events occurring in honeybee colonies that are bred and farmed like livestock must not be confused with the conservation crisis of dramatic declines in thousands of wild pollinator species, say Cambridge researchers. Writing

Worldwide importance of honey bees for natural habitats captured in new report

Global synthesis of data reveals honey bees as world’s key pollinator of non-crop plants                  A honey bee pollinates a Carpobrotus plant. Credit: Keng-Lou James Hung/UC San Diego An unprecedented study integrating data from around the globe has shown that honey bees are the world’s most important single species of pollinator in

Interconnected benefits of urban agriculture

From a vacant plot in a blighted neighborhood springs neatly combed rows of plants put in by the neighbors. They meticulously care for this small piece of land and among the drab looking buildings sprouts a patch of green. Cultivating the land may have started as a way to unite a neighborhood;

As climate is warming up, more bird nests are destroyed in Finnish farmland

                         This is a lapwing’s nest on sowed field. Credit: Andrea Santangeli Finnish farmers are adapting to the warming climate by anticipating the time when they sow their fields in the spring. At the same time, birds have also advanced the time of breeding as the spring temperatures are becoming milder in

New ‘Buck’ naked barley: Food, feed, brew

Resilient, hull-free barley flaunts high yields, nutrition Barley Project members at The Plant Variety Showcase (Oct. 12, 2017, Portland, Ore.) showcase breads made from Buck (and other naked barleys) in the foreground. From left to right: Brigid Meints, Rebecca Hayes, Patrick Hayes, Laura Helgerson, Andrew Ross, and Scott Fisk. Credit: Photo provided

Aid for oceans and fisheries in developing world drops by 30 percent

Sustainable fisheries make good sense for jobs, nutrition, and climate change resilience Financial aid to fisheries in developing countries has declined by 30 percent, finds a new study from UBC and Stockholm Resilience Centre researchers, published in Marine Policy. Projects focusing on climate issues in fisheries had a 77 percent decline over

Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees

Fungicides are among the top contaminants of honey bee hives and can interfere with the bees’ ability to metabolize other pesticides. Credit: Photo by L. Brian Stauffer  When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the

Bees use invisible heat patterns to choose flowers

                             Floral heat patterns from rock rose.  Credit: University of Bristol A new study, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, has found that a wide range of flowers produce not just signals that we can see and smell,

Speed breeding technique sows seeds of new green revolution

Pioneering new technology set to accelerate the global quest for crop improvement Speed breeding means that it is now possible to grow as many as 6 generations of wheat every year — a threefold increase on the techniques currently used by breeders and researchers. Credit: John Innes Centre Pioneering new technology is set

Biologists uncovers a genetic mechanism that could enhance yield in cereal crops

Precise regulation of plant hormones in early reproductive development as a target for yield increases Solving the world’s food, feed and bioenergy challenges requires integration of multiple approaches and diverse skills. Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., assistant member at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and her team identified a genetic mechanism that controls

Microbes help turn Greek yogurt waste into fuel

This is a photograph of bio-oil, made of caproic acid and caprylic acid, phase separates out at mildly acidic conditions. Credit: Lars Angenent, University of Tübingen Consumers across the world enjoy Greek yogurt for its taste, texture, and protein-packed punch. Reaching that perfect formula, however, generates large volumes of food waste in

Sorghum cultivars can produce thousands of gallons of ethanol

Sweet sorghum is not just for breakfast anymore. Although sorghum is a source for table syrup, scientists see a future in which we convert sorghum to biofuel, rather than relying on fossil fuel. That potential just grew as University of Florida researchers found three UF/IFAS-developed sorghum varieties could produce up to 1,000

Converting waste water from dairies to animal feed and aviation fuel

The bio-oil made from acid whey could be used as animal feed or aviation fuel. Credit: Lars Angenent, University of Tübingen Scientists have developed a bioprocess that enables conversion of acid whey, a dairy by-product, without the use of additional chemicals. Professor Lars Angenent from the Center of Applied Geosciences at the

Stressed out cocoa trees could produce more flavorful chocolate

Most people agree that chocolate tastes great, but is there a way to make it taste even better? Perhaps, according to scientists who looked at different conditions that can put a strain on cocoa trees. Reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they say that although the agricultural method used

Chickens Open Wide for Gelatin Bead Vaccine

Making sure all newborn chicks are vaccinated right out of the hatchery isn’t always easy. Some birds may be missed by standard poultry vaccination methods and consequently, left with little defense against intestinal diseases. Developed by scientists at the Agricultural Research Service, a new vaccine delivery system to prevent diseases like coccidiosis

Ampicillin Resistance Began Years Before Human Use

Rise of ampicillin resistance began years before human use Likely triggered by overuse of penicillins in agriculture in the 1950s Low doses of penicillin routinely fed to livestock in the 1950s in North America and Europe may have encouraged antibiotic-resistant bacteria to evolve and spread. Credit: © voren1 / Fotolia Bacteria that

New Stress-Tolerant Rice Varieties Rolled Out for Africa by Rice Experts

The Africa-wide Rice Breeding Task Force, convened by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), has recently nominated six varieties with improved tolerance to environmental stresses as ARICA, which stands for Africa Rice Varieties for Africa. “This is the second series of nominations since the ARICA brand was launched in 2013 to offer farmers

Research shows How cats and cows protect farm children from asthma

Source: University of Zurich Summary: It is a known fact that microbes on farms protect children from asthma and allergies. But even non-microbial molecules can have a protective effect. Immunologists have shown that a sialic acid found in farm animals is effective against inflammation of lung tissue. This study opens up a


Breadfruit, used as a folk remedy in pacific regions to control insects, is an effective mosquito repellent, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have found. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their collaborators at the University of British Columbia in Okanagan, Canada, identified three breadfruit compounds Capric, Undecanoic and Lauric acids that


As environmentalists focus on the International Year of Forests, there has been much attention on destructive logging in Africa’s rain-forests, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Deforestation is a process where vegetation is cut down without any simultaneous replanting for economic or social reasons. Deforestation has negative implications on the environment

Fisheries given a solution to overharvesting

 There are fewer fish in the sea literally. Consumer demand and inadequate scientific information has led to overharvesting, reducing fish species and fish stocks around the world. But University of Guelph researchers have identified a possible solution. They have developed a model that allows fisheries to net enough to meet rising consumer

The secret lives of ancient land plants

Cracking of the liverwort genome sheds light on land plant evolution                                     Liverwort (stock image). Credit: © adrian sumner / Fotolia The clues to our evolutionary ancestors? They’re in our genes. All organisms carry patterns in their DNA that scientists can analyze to decipher where and when a species diverged on the

Vitamin E discovery in maize could lead to more nutritious crop

New research has identified genes that control vitamin E content in maize grain, a finding that could lead to improving the nutritional profile of this staple crop New research has identified genes that control vitamin E content in maize grain, a finding that could lead to improving the nutritional profile of this

Tiny bees play big part in secret sex lives of trees

This map shows how bees carried pollen from numerous father trees to a specific mother tree, often traveling from more than two kilometers away. University of Texas at Austin researchers analyzed seeds and genetic markers in trees to determine which bees carried pollen from where. Credit: The University of Texas at Austin

‘Golden’ potato delivers bounty of vitamins A and E

Experimental tuber could cut disease in developing nations, study suggests Golden potatoes, seen at right, are far richer in vitamins A and E, and could help fight disease in developing countries. Credit: Mark Failla An experimental “golden” potato could hold the power to prevent disease and death in developing countries where residents

Genetic discovery another tool in battle against wheat pests

 Greenbug and Hessian fly infestations can significantly reduce wheat yield and quality in Texas and worldwide. Breeding for resistance to these two pests using marker-assisted selection just got a new tool from a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study. Because genetics is the most economical strategy to minimize losses, AgriLife Research wheat geneticist

Sun’s role in mitigating fungal disease of mango fruit

Mango fruits play host to some economically damaging fungal diseases, especially during ripening and storage; but mango growers and suppliers have a new ray of hope…in the form of sunlight. In a recent Phytobiomes journal article, Noam Alkan and colleagues at the Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center in Israel show some promising

Filling intercropping info gap

Intercropping formula promises food security in Sahel Africa Intercropping of sorghum and groundnut with three rows of groundnut between every two rows of sorghum in the Sahel of West Africa. Growing two crops together results in higher productivity compared with producing sole crops with less chance of complete crop failure. Credit: Charles

Breeding highly productive corn has reduced its ability to adapt

 Stuck where they are, plants have to adapt to their environments, responding to stresses like drought or pests by changing how they grow. On a broader scale, crop breeders need to be able to develop new varieties that are adapted to a new location or changing growing conditions in the same area.

Crunch time for food security

Feelings often run high where insects are concerned, with many people even squeamish to look on them, let alone touch or swallow them. And yet insects present a huge nutritional opportunity as an increasing global population seeks sustainable sources of food and feed. Insects have generally high levels of animal protein and

Pesticides may cause bumble bees to lose their buzz, study finds

Pesticides significantly reduce the number of pollen grains a bumblebee is able to collect, a new University of Stirling study has found. The research, conducted by a team in the Faculty of Natural Sciences, found that field-realistic doses of a neonicotinoid pesticide affects the behaviour of bees ultimately interfering with the type

Disease-resistant apples perform better than old favorites

WineCrisp apples. New disease-resistant apples appear to perform better than some old favorites. Credit: David Riecks, University of Illinois You may not find them in the produce aisle yet, but it’s only a matter of time before new disease-resistant apple cultivars overtake favorites like Honeycrisp in popularity, according to a University of

Flower attracts insects by pretending to be a mushroom

Aspidistra elatior flowers blooming half-buried in the earth. Credit: Image courtesy of Kobe University The mysterious flowers of Aspidistra elatior are found on the southern Japanese island of Kuroshima. Until recently, scientists thought that A. elatior has the most unusual pollination ecology among all flowering plants, being pollinated by slugs and amphipods.

How to keep cows happy

Brazilian study shows how small changes on farms can lower stress levels of cattle   Story Source: Materials provided by Springer. Corrals are used on livestock farms around the world to round up the animals when they need to be weighed or vaccinated. New research now shows that removing splashes of colors,

Mushrooms are full of antioxidants that may have antiaging potential

Robert Beelman is Professor Emeritus of Food Science at Penn State and Director of the Center for Plant and Mushroom Foods for Health. Credit: Patrick Mansell Story Source: Materials provided by Penn State. Mushrooms may contain unusually high amounts of two antioxidants that some scientists suggest could help fight aging and bolster

Genomic study reveals clues to wild past of grapes

Humans may have gathered them for 15,000 years before cultivating the fruit as a crop “The data indicate that humans gathered grapes in the wild for centuries before cultivating them,” says study co-leader Brandon Gaut, UCI professor of ecology & evolutionary biology. The research also revealed key genetic alterations during domestication that

Discovery of 8,000-year-old wine production in ancient Middle East

Archaeologists find earliest evidence of wine-making This is base of Neolithic jar being prepared for sampling for residue analysis. Credit: Judyta Olszewski Excavations in the Republic of Georgia by the Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Expedition (GRAPE), a joint undertaking between the University of Toronto (U of T) and the Georgian National

In bee decline, fungicides emerge as improbable villain

Fungicides particularly chlorothalonil — appear to be impacting bee health. Credit: © Zacarias da Mata / Fotolia When a Cornell-led team of scientists analyzed two dozen environmental factors to understand bumblebee population declines and range contractions, they expected to find stressors like changes in land use, geography or insecticides. Instead, they found

Rising inequality charted across millennia

Findings have profound implications for contemporary society Hunter-gatherer societies typically had low wealth disparities. Their mobility would make it hard to accumulate wealth. (stock image) Credit: © Rafal Cichawa / Fotolia Researchers at Washington State University and 13 other institutions have found that the arc of prehistory bends towards economic inequality. In