All posts

Plastic in your Plants

Recent reports have revealed the alarming ability of microplastics to accumulate in fish and other sea creatures, with the ultimate fear being that these plastics might end up on human plates. They may also accumulate within the tissue of some plants, as further shown by two recent studies.… Read more

These two genes help rice to keep its head above water

Think about any crop plant and what of it is important to you. You might say taste, fruit size, yield per acre – but would you consider plant height? Maybe you should! Researchers have discovered two new genes that react to flooding and control the height of rice plants – so that they don’t drown.… Read more

Missing: Have you seen this Coffee?

Alternative Title: You’re not a real hipster unless you drink Coffea stenophylla (but you can still be in our club if you choose C. affinis.)

Coffee. It’s a hot beverage on a cold day, a quick wake-me-up drug to help you through that morning meeting, and a multibillion dollar industry which involves over 100 million people at the farming stage alone.

Today, we tell the story of two missing coffee species – how they were lost, how they were found again, and what the future might hold for their survival, and that of one of world’s favourite hot beverages.… Read more

Do GMO have worse off-target effects than conventional plants?

Without plant breeding, the fruit and veggies of today would look very differentOver thousands of years, humans have  genetically modified plants through selective breeding, to yield bigger, tastier and hardier plants. In the 1990s, the tool set of plant breeders was extended by means of genome engineering. Genome engineering encompasses the introduction of foreign genes into the DNA of plants as well as other molecular methods that selectively modify, delete or add genetic information. … Read more

Pavlov’s pea plants

  • by

This week, we’re talking about plant intelligence and whether or not a pea plant can be conditioned like a dog. … Read more

Are plants as smart as dogs?

Being the father of a young child allows me to witness learning every single day. While I do my best to teach my child through explanation and demonstration, I can’t help but notice that he’s also recently developed associative learning. If I go to put on his shoes, for example, my child gets excited because shoes are associated with going outside – the same shoes did not trigger any excitement several months ago. 

Associative learning, also known as classical conditioning, might be familiar to you because of Pavlov’s famous dog.… Read more