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News About Farming On Earth and in Space
April 15, 2017
Fungus uses light to invade, attack wheat plants
Washington (UPI) Apr 12, 2017
The fungus Parastagonospora nodorum has forged a deadly partnership with sunlight, and wheat plants are paying the price. According to scientists at the University of Western Australia, Parastagonospora nodorum produces an herbicide compound called elsinochrome which destroys plant cells when exposed to sunlight. Researchers manipulated the the fungus' genome to trigger elsinochrome production, allowing scientists to observe the deadly compound's behavior inside wheat plants. "To ... read more

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To save honey bees, human behavior must change
In the search for answers to the complex health problems and colony losses experienced by honey bees in recent years, it may be time for professionals and hobbyists in the beekeeping industry to loo ... more
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New rice fights off drought
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) have developed strains of rice that are resistant to drought in real-world situations. Published in Plant Biotechnology Journal ... more
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Archaeologists untangle the complex food webs of the Ancestral Puebloans
By reconstructing the complex food webs of Ancestral Puebloan southwestern United States, researchers hope to yield insights into the the ecological consequences of modern climate change. ... more
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A step forward to making crops drought tolerant
QUT researchers are part of an international consortium of researchers whose work hopes to future-proof crops against the impacts of global climate change. The researchers have sequenced the genome ... more
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A 'bionic leaf' could help feed the world
In the second half of the 20th century, the mass use of fertilizer was part of an agricultural boom called the "green revolution" that was largely credited with averting a global food crisis. Now, t ... more
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Chinese students imbibe secrets of Burgundy winemaking
Chen Yanfen swirls a glass of Burgundy wine, noting its ruby red robe and fruity bouquet before taking her first sip. ... more
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New museum reveals power of poo in Italy
It may pong, but Italy's "Shit Museum" has the whiff of success about it: here in Castelbosco, farmers are transforming sloppy cowpats into plates you can eat off. ... more
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11 percent of disappearing groundwater used to grow internationally traded food
Wheat, rice, sugar, cotton and maize are among the essential internationally traded crops in the global economy. To produce these crops many countries rely on irrigated agriculture that accounts for ... more
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New global report on food crisis
Despite international efforts to address food insecurity, around 108 million people in the world were severely food insecure in 2016, a dramatic increase compared with 80 million in 2015, according ... more
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Domesticated rice goes rogue
A new study in the April 3 issue of Nature Genetics describes an ancestry.com-type adventure that reveals the deep history of a family, including some disreputable relatives. But the family in this ... more
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EU approves Syngenta-ChemChina mega-deal
EU antitrust authorities on Wednesday cleared state-owned ChemChina's 40-billion-euro ($43-billion) takeover of Swiss seeds giant Syngenta, the biggest ever overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm. ... more
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Steering towards grazing fields
It makes sense that a 1,200 pound Angus cow would place quite a lot of pressure on the ground on which it walks. But a new study shows that even these heavy beasts can't do much to compact common so ... more
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New rice strain could help farmers predetermine harvest time
A new strain of rice that flowers within a certain period of time after being sprayed with commercial chemicals commonly used to protect rice from fungal diseases is now available, say Japanese scie ... more
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Newly characterized protein has potential to save US farmers millions annually
Instead of turning carbon into food, many plants accidentally make a plant-toxic compound during photosynthesis that is recycled through a process called photorespiration. University of Illinois and ... more
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Mathematical framework explains diverse plant stem forms
It is well known that as plants grow, their stems and shoots respond to outside signals like light and gravity. But if plants all have similar stimuli, why are there so many different plant shapes? ... more
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Dairy farmers should rethink a cow's curfew
Dairy cows housed indoors want to break curfew and roam free, suggests new research from the University of British Columbia, published in Scientific Reports. The study measured how much work d ... more
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A slice of luxury: Hong Kong's high-end fruit fad
It might be a healthy food choice, but Hong Kong's latest fruit fad is doing serious damage to shoppers' wallets. ... more
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Making cows more environmentally friendly
Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) and the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Frankfurt have published a paper revealing an important di ... more
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Biodiversity loss shifts flowering phenology at same magnitude as global warming
Researchers have revealed that declining plant diversity - from habitat loss, human use, and other environmental pressures - causes plants to flower earlier, and that the effects of diversity loss o ... more
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DuPont to sell parts of pesticide business to clear path for Dow merger
US chemical giant DuPont said Friday it will sell off some of its pesticide business in exchange for FMC's health and nutrition business as a step towards clearing regulatory hurdles to its merger with Dow. ... more
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Robotics aid in the study of corn and drought tolerance
Developing drought tolerant corn that makes efficient use of available water will be vital to sustain the estimated 9 billion global population by 2050. In March 2014, the National Science Foundatio ... more
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Unique wheat passes the test
Stronger legs in fast-growing broilers, reduced phosphorus emissions to the environment, improved health for undernourished populations in developing countries and better use of scarce resources - t ... more
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Scientists are trying to make cows more eco-friendly
Researchers are trying to develop a more eco-friendly diet for the world's bovine population. ... more
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WSU findings point way to more nutritious crops
Almost every calorie that we eat at one time went through the veins of a plant. If a plant's circulatory system could be rejiggered to make more nutrients available - through bigger seeds or sweeter ... more
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