NASA is testing a prototype of the largest plant greenhouse ever built for the ISS, which will be delivered to the space station by 2017.
A new dual-cropping plant named "Egg and Chips" grows four eggplants from its stem and over four pounds of potatoes from its roots. Experts say this plant not only saves gardening space, but the hardy potato plants actually support the eggplants, whose roots are more delicate.
Plants growing in close quarters constantly compete for sunlight, which is essential to their survival. When a plants is shaded from the sun – either by a cloud overhead or competing plant growing next to it – light sensors kick in to trigger growth.
Arsenic is a well-known toxin and carcinogen derived from minerals and commonly used in herbicides, animal growth promoters and semiconductors. When investigating how this chemical accumulates in plant seeds, researchers discovered they may be able to grow healthier and safer grains of rice.
Greenhouse farmers depend on supplemental lighting to grow plump tomatoes. When testing the effects of artificial light, researchers found LED lights not only grow perfectly good tomatoes, but are also energy-efficient.
Native Australian "resurrection plants" store sugars and recycle cells to survive long dry episodes. Using this, researchers may be able to design drought-resistant crops.
Plants with flowers pointing towards the sky may be more likely to attract moth pollinators, compared to shy sideways-facing flowers. This suggests that flower direction plays a larger role in pollination than scent.
Moose and snowshoe hares have taken a liking to the increased shrubery growth along Alaska's North Slope.
"Large herbivores are not merely victims of the circumstances they live in, but actively engineer their environment," said Liesbeth Bakker, lead author of the study from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.
In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) uses his knowledge of botany to successfully grow potatoes and lengthen his food supply while stranded on Mars. While his methods are sound, researchers are curious about whether it could actually be done.
With heavier rainfall sweeping through the African savanna, one would expect to see more thriving populations of trees. However, it turns out trees' deep roots are actually disadvantageous and don't allow the plants to suck up abundant water resources.
Some pollinating leafhoppers may be transmitting deadly bacteria to flowering plants. When infected, the plants are unable to blossom and sexual reproduction is prevented turning them into the living dead.
Americans have depended on groundhogs for tips on when spring will arrive for over two centuries; now scientists say they can do better with new modeling software. Here's their prediction for the coming year.
Cape Restio shrubs produce large, dark nuts that mimic antelope droppings and trick dung beetles into planting them, ultimately helping the shrubs become more widespread.