|One of my Arabidopsis rhizotron scans. You can see the swollen tubercles where the parasite ahs attached to the host.|
Meanwhile, some very exciting plant science was published this month in Science: the first case of GM technology being used to boost productivity by improving photosynthesis. In plants, this reaction converts sunlight into sugar - ultimately the basis of all the food we eat. Researchers at the University of Illinois targeted a process called 'nonphotochemical quenching' NPQ, which protects the plant from strong sunlight by dissipating extra energy as heat. Like a reflex action, this is turned on almost instantly. But if the plant then becomes shaded - by a cloud or the canopy above - it can take up to half an hour to deactivate NPQ, meaning that photosynthesis is less efficient during this time.
|My new lab bench, all ready to go! But not just yet...|
Given the increasing challenge of feeding our growing population whilst conserving resources, this could be a game changer. For more information on the story can be found here.
Hope you have a good week ahead, my resolution for the next is for more sleep!