Trials to check whether Plants could grow on Moon and Mars or not

Experiment to check the theoretical growth of plants on Moon and Mars (Credit: Alterra Wageningen UR)

Main points:

Researchers have planned to experiment whether it is possible to grow the plants on Mars or not. They will give the plants, the mineral composition of the soil on the moon and the Mars and will study the plant species that would theoretically grow on the surface of the moon and the Mars. Read More …

Protect trees for your good health

A tree-lined street in Toledo, Ohio in 2006 (Credit: Dan Herms, Ohio State University)

Researchers have found that the presence of trees in the environment strongly relates with the human health.

This research has been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Researchers in this study have done an analysis of 18 years of data from 1,296 counties in 15 states in U.S. They found about 15,000 more deaths from cardiovascular disease and slightly more than 6,000 deaths from lower respiratory disease in the people living in the areas bug-ridden by the emerald ash borer, a beetle that kills ash trees making them treeless, as compared to uninfected areas. Read More …

Plant having a chemical defense against irritating insects

Plant may repel irritating insects (Credit - Ian Grettenberger)Researchers have found plants may repel the “insect antagonists” after getting cues related to the odors of flies to attract female flies that may result in damage to the plants.

This research has been published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“It’s become increasingly clear in recent years that plants are responsive to odors,” Mark Mescher, assistant professor of entomology, said in a statement. “But previous examples of this are all plant-to-plant. For example, some plants have been shown to respond to the odor of insect-damaged neighbors by priming their own defenses. What’s new about this is that it seems that plants may sometimes be able to smell the insects themselves.”

Researchers worked on tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima) plants. They exposed some of the plants to the odor of the male fly and observed the laying of eggs by female on exposed and unexposed plants by checking the characteristic scarring that happens when females pierce the stem to lay their eggs inside, said Mescher. Read More …

NASA’s map on nutrient limitation and plant productivity; Research

Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif. made an analysis for the first time to estimate the effect of nutrients available in the soil to the growth of plants in the world.

This research has been published online in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

Researchers have developed a map to check for the utilization of carbon dioxide by the Earth’s ecosystems as the greenhouse gas levels increase.

Global map depicting nutrient limitation affecting plant productivity

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Natural compound from an Indian plant could help against mesothelioma; Research

Withania somniferaResearchers have found that a natural compound found in the medicinal plant Withania somnifera could be helpful against malignant pleural mesothelioma.

This research has been published online in the August 17th issue of the journal PLoS ONE.

Researchers already knew that Withania somnifera (also known as “Ashwagandha”, or “Indian ginseng”), which is a medicinal plant used in Indian Ayurvedic Medicine for centuries, has a bioactive compound Withaferin A (WA) that is helpful against inflammation, angiogenesis, and cancer. In this research, they worked in-vivo on the mouse model and in-vitro on the patient-derived cells of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Researchers found that WA not only stops proteasome activity but also increases apoptosis in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Proteasome is a protein complex involved in the degradation of the damaged proteins. In cancerous cells, inhibition of proteasome activity helps in the damage of cells. Apoptosis means the programmed cell death. Read More …

Plants can communicate each other through sounds; Research

Corn plants

Plants can talk with each other not only through signals but also by making “clicking” sounds.

This research has been published online in the March 22 issue of the journal Trends in Plant Science.

This research also shows that the plants not only respond to sounds but also produce sounds to communicate with each other.

Previously, it was known that plants like cabbage can spread volatile gases, such as methyl jasmonate, to warn the surrounding cabbage plants about some types of herbivores or annoying things like caterpillars.

“Everyone knows that plants react to light, and scientists also know that plants use volatile chemicals to communicate with each other, for instance, when danger – such as a herbivore – approaches,” Dr. Monica Gagliano said in a university news release. Read More …

Main step in the production of cocaine in plants have been unveiled; Research

Coca leavesScientists have discovered the most significant step in the development of cocaine in the coca plants.

This research has been published online in the June 4 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Scientists worked on to find the mechanism behind the development of cocaine in the coca plants, so that the medical science will be able to develop new anesthetic drugs without addictive properties.

“Plants can’t run away, so they have to be the planet’s best chemists to survive,” said study co-author John D’Auria, a biochemist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany.

“They make chemicals other organisms simply cannot make, including cocaine.” Read More …