A message to our community

The New Phytologist Trust has been closely monitoring updates on the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Our staff is now working remotely and while New Phytologist and Plants, People, Planet are considering manuscripts as normal, we are conscious that there may be a slight delay in handling papers due to editor and reviewer availability during this time. We also appre...
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Events for 2020

Since 1995, The New Phytologist Trust's symposia series has been held in different countries across the globe, focusing on emerging and key areas of plant science research. In 2019, we held symposia in Ghana and Zurich and our very first Plants, People, Planet symposium in the beautiful surroundings of Kew Gardens. This year, we are travelling to Campinas-SP, Brazil, in July t...
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How do conifers survive droughts?

From a University at Buffalo news release by Charlotte Hu. As the world warms, a new study is helping scientists understand how cone-bearing trees like pines and junipers may respond to drought. The research addresses a classic question in the field: When conditions are dry for long periods of time, do trees survive by growing new roots to tap water sources, or by relyin...
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The ecology, evolution, and genetics of plant reproductive systems

The study of plant reproductive systems provides crucial insights into ecological interactions and the process of evolutionary change. Reproductive success is closely allied to overall fitness, and understanding the mechanisms and drivers of reproductive fitness can help us understand the causes and consequences of the remarkable diversity of plant reproductive strategies. ...
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Brilliant biocrusts

Biocrust – or biological soil crust – has hit the cover of New Phytologist. New Phytologist Editor Sasha Reed introduces an ecosystem you may not have heard much about. The photograph shows a dryland landscape on the Colorado Plateau, USA. In the photograph you can see biological soil crust (the dark, bumpy soil in the foreground). Biocrusts are communities of cyanobacteria...
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The loneliest tree in the world

Standing and watching the loneliest tree in the world, my first reaction was one of sadness – that with all of humankind's collective knowledge and ingenuity, we haven’t been able to propagate this plant. Hyophorbe amaricaulis has lived in the Curepipe Botanical Garden in Mauritius for the past 150 years or so. Today, it is enclosed by a kind of cage and supporting platform, a...
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The Gunnera trick

Lofty peaks and a very high rate of succession grace the cover of New Phytologist 223:2, courtesy of Alberto Benavent-González. Below he explains the story behind his research. We are looking at the very front of the Pia Glacier, located at the southern side of the Darwin Range in Tierra del Fuego (Chile). This glacier, as many others in the region, is retreating rapidly an...
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Pathways to ploidy

I caught up with Andrea Genre to talk about the research behind the latest image to appear on the cover of New Phytologist (volume 223, issue 1). Medicago truncatula root colonisation by the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Gigaspora margarita (outlined by the white dashes) induces a local increase in the host tissue ploidy. Coloured dots tag nuclei with putative ploidy levels...
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From wild crocus to fields of gold

Mystery solved – biologists in Dresden explain the genetic origins of the saffron crocus. Saffron, the world's most expensive spice, comes from the stigmas of saffron crocus flowers, Crocus sativus. For many farmers in Mediterranean countries, Kashmir, India, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, saffron production is the main source of income, since the saffron crocus thrives in...
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Snow is not always white

In some coastal areas in Antarctica, the snow can look red, orange, green, or a blend of all three. This colour is natural and is actually made up of tiny microscopic living cells called snow-algae. Red snow‐algae bloom on Léonie Island, Ryder Bay, Antarctic Peninsula. Courtesy of Matthew Davey. Snow algae are tiny plants that can survive and bloom in the slushy snow du...
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