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Botany One
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Botany One: Plant Science Research
Botany One: Plant Science Research

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Kew publishes its State of the World’s Fungi report
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Fungus gnats see red when pollinating
https://buff.ly/2x57EAv

Why do some flowers use a deep red? And is this shade a clue that fungus gnats are pollinating more flowers than we thought?
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Moringa! More than meets the eye
https://buff.ly/2Mo3Tv3

Nigel Chaffey on the plant that's helping provide clean water as well as food.
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The first footholds for land plants may have been much smaller than imagined

A polysaccharide found in the cell walls of land plants has now been outside the cell. This chemical, Xyloglucan, could be one of clues as to how plants moved onto land.

https://buff.ly/2Mh2rKE
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We know that flowers entice pollinators with nectar, but how much and what causes a flower to produce as much or as little nectar as it does. In this guest post, Amy Parachnowitsch, Jessamyn Manson and Nina Sletvold introduce their review of the topic, which you can get free from the Annals of Botany.
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Once an invasive species has formed a monodominant stand, it becomes extremely difficult to restore the area. Despite the impact they have on native ecosystems, very little is known about how these stands are formed.
https://buff.ly/2omPiWU
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"Vegetable amaranth is a very versatile crop; you can eat the leaves, stems and in many cases the seeds."
Rachael Symonds examines a crop that could make its way to your plate in the future.
https://buff.ly/2Lvm94R
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Photosynthesis: a fast-changing process in an even faster world
https://buff.ly/2BDzAQX (Open Access)

Photosynthesis is the process that fuels a plant. It sets the energy budget for the organism. It’s no surprise it’s a well-studied process, tet the most commonly measured photosynthesis parameters are made at ‘steady state’ meaning that new photosynthetic traits could remain undiscovered. The ‘dynamic’ changes in photosynthesis (i.e. the kinetics of the various reactions of photosynthesis in response to environmental shifts) are now known to be important in driving crop yield.

Despite huge advances in measurement technology in recent years, it is still unclear whether we possess the capability of capturing and describing the physiologically relevant dynamic features of field photosynthesis in sufficient detail. Such traits are highly complex, hence Murchie et al. dub this the ‘photosynthome’. Their review sets out the state of play and describes some approaches that could be made to address this challenge with reference to the relevant biological processes involved.

Murchie, E. H., Kefauver, S., Araus, J. L., Muller, O., Rascher, U., Flood, P. J., & Lawson, T. (2018). Measuring the dynamic photosynthome. Annals of Botany, 122(2), 207–220. https://buff.ly/2BDzAQX

Image: Murchie et al. (2018)
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Timing of the effect of polyploidy on clonality in an autopolyploid plant
https://buff.ly/2nLdH8p FREE Access

Clonal reproduction in polyploids is expected to exceed that in diploids, due to either the immediate direct effects of whole-genome duplication (WGD) or selection during establishment. The timing of polyploidy effects on clonality are largely unknown despite its hypothesized influence on polyploid success. Van Drunen and Husband tested the direction and timing of divergence in clonal traits in diploid and polyploid Chamerion angustifolium.

The authors did this by comparing root bud production and biomass allocation patterns between diploids and synthesized tetraploids (neotetraploids), and between neotetraploids and naturally occurring tetraploids grown in a common environment.

Root bud production increased in neotetraploids compared to diploids, potentially promoting within-cytotype mating and establishment. Natural tetraploids had a similar investment to diploids, suggesting selection for decreased clonal reproduction in tetraploids over time.

This study contains the first empirical measure of clonal reproduction in synthetic polyploids, offering a unique perspective on the impact of clonality during the early stages of polyploid evolution.

Van Drunen, W. E., & Husband, B. C. (2018). Immediate vs. evolutionary consequences of polyploidy on clonal reproduction in an autopolyploid plant. Annals of Botany, 122(1), 195–205. https://buff.ly/2nLdH8p

Image: Chamerion angustifolium, Van Drunen and Husband (2018)
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Plant-animal interactions deal with wildfires in unexpected ways
https://buff.ly/2B9Rsmb

A guest post by Yedra García, María Clara Castellanos and Juli G. Pausas

Some plants depend on a few specialised pollinators. What happens after a wildfire rips through the habitat?

As the authors have written a blog post, the associated paper in Annals of Botany is free to access for a limited time.
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