Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 216:1, October 2017

In the Viewpoint paper behind the image on the cover of New Phytologist 216:1, Florian Boucher and colleagues explain why, when it comes to diversification, size does matter. In the Knersvlakte, a closer look at the stony ground reveals that the quartzfields are actually carpeted with living stones: small succulent plants, belonging to the genus Argyroderma. Part of the Sout...
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Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 215:3, August 2017

From the roots up Getting back to your roots can lead to some interesting discoveries. In plants, the origin of roots has frequently been a controversial topic. Recent research published in New Phytologist suggests that the development of roots might have been far more interesting than we previously thought. A recently published paper by Fujinami et al. focuses on the organ...
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Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 215:2, July 2017

Going back to your roots Lycophyte (a group of plants more commonly known as clubmosses) roots are interesting because evidence suggests that, despite their similar appearance, they evolved independently of those in other vascular plants (euphyllophytes). To get to the bottom of this, you have to look at the differences in the ways that their roots branch. In a recent Tansley ...
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The winding evolutionary path of mannitol production in algae

Algae may not always look exciting, but this extremely diverse group has a lot of secrets. We are only just beginning to piece together the evolutionary history of these organisms, some of which are not even classified as plants. All algae contain plastids that appear to have been derived from an ancient endosymbiosis between a non-photosynthetic host cell and a photosynthetic ...
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Turning defence into a carnivorous offence in the Cape sundew

Insects landing on the carnivorous Cape sundew (Drosera capensis) don’t stand a chance. The sticky mucilage secreted from their leaves holds the victim in place while the leaf curls over to get a better grip. The plant then releases digestive enzymes that break down the insect so its nutrients can be absorbed into the leaf, supplementing the limited nutrients gained by the plan...
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From sea to summit: plant colonisation of the land

When plants moved from water onto land, everything changed. Nutrients were scavenged from rocks to form the earliest soils, atmospheric oxygen levels rose dramatically, and plants provided the food that enticed other organisms to expand across the terrestrial world. Building on the success of a meeting in 2010, the New Phytologist Trust organised a multidisciplinary symposiu...
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Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 212:3, November 2016

What can kelp tell us about trees? Sea palm (Postelsia palmaeformis) is a species of kelp, pictured on the cover of New Phytologist 212:3, growing in the intertidal zone near Big Sur, California. In a study published in 212:3, Sam Starko and Patrick Martone investigate how kelps compare to land plants in the ways that they divide their biomass between different parts of the ...
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Interview with Laura Lagomarsino, winner of the Ernst Mayr award at Evolution 2016

During Evolution 2016, I spoke to Laura Lagomarsino, New Phytologist author and one of the winners of the Ernst Mayr Award. Awarded each year by the Society of Systematic Biologists, the Ernst Mayr Award celebrates the quality and creativity of the research conducted by a PhD student in the field of systematic biology. Read more about Laura's research career and the Ernst Mayr ...
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New Phytologist celebrates Darwin Day

Last week, New Phytologist celebrated Darwin Day, the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on 12 February 1809. To highlight Darwin’s contribution to science, particularly the science of evolution, the editorial staff at the New Phytologist office have selected three recent papers published in the journal on the theme of evolution. On the origins of observations of het...
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