When reducing the water used to water cherry tomato crops by more than 50%, the product not only maintains its quality, both commercially and nutritionally, but it also even increases the level of carotenoids, compounds of great interest in the food-processing industry. In addition to being natural colorings, some are Vitamin-A precursors, which are beneficial for the health and have cosmetic uses.
A technology developed by Brazilian researchers can help fighting highly resistant agricultural pests by analyzing the connections between the pests' patterns of dispersal in crops and different configurations in diversified intercropping systems.
The global 1000 Bull Genomes Consortium identified the genetic basis for accurately predicting the complex trait of height across cattle and dairy breeds by pooling large genomic datasets and phenotypes collected from 58,000 cattle. The team validated their findings using the DNA of a wild auroch, the ancient ancestor to all cattle and dairy breeds, and, in a world first, demonstrated the genes influencing height in cattle also influence the trait in humans and dogs.
Vampire bats feed exclusively on blood, a mode of feeding unique amongst mammals. It has therefore been long suspected that vampire bats have highly specific evolutionary adaptations, which would be documented in their genome, and most likely also have an unusual microbiome, the community of micro-organisms assembled in their digestive tract which may help with the digestion of blood.
Legumes are widely-consumed plants that use soil bacteria to obtain nitrogen through root nodulation. The process is energetically costly, and so legumes inhibit nodulation when soil nitrate is available. However, the mechanism that drives this inhibition is unknown. Researchers found that NRSYM1 is responsible for inhibiting nodulation in the presence of nitrate, and acts by directly regulating gene expression. The findings may aid agricultural efforts to improve the crop efficiency of legumes.
It's an age-old debate for coffee lovers. Which is better: Arabica beans with their sweeter, softer taste, or the bold, deep flavor of Robusta beans? A new study has taken the question to unlikely coffee aficionados: birds.
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