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Trigger warning: how the Venus flytrap got its snap

Botanical carnivory is just one of many ways in which plants have adapted to cope with low levels of nutrients in the soil. Carnivorous plants have evolved specialised leaves, called traps, for prey attraction, capture and digestion. The traps are...

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Do longer growing seasons mean bigger seeds?

Researchers at the University of Granada have proposed, for the first time, 'universal laws' for seed size and biology. Using mathematical models and an exhaustive data analysis of 500 plant species, they showed that the global distribution of dor...

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Nectar microbes enhance floral allure

Research recently published in New Phytologist shows how pollinators get a buzz out of more than a flower's nectar.   A honey bee heading toward lupine. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey.   Nectar-living microbes rel...

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Seeing red: the evolutionary path to beet-red beets

Put a ruby raspberry up against a crimson beet and look closely. You might just notice: they are different reds.   Millions of years ago, one family of plants — the beets and their cousins — hit upon a brand new red pigmen...

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American oaks share a common northern ancestor

A new paper, published in New Phytologist, tells the evolutionary story of American oak for the first time.   If you had gone down to the woods in northern Canada, 45 million years ago, you might have encountered the distant ancestor ...

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Exploring plant evo-devo – a new Special Issue

Plant developmental evolution, the latest Special Issue to be published in New Phytologist, draws together a selection of papers exploring the relatively young field of plant evo-devo.     The papers in this special...

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In search of the origins of observations of heterostyly

In 1860, Charles Darwin had an epiphany.  This was not an epiphany on the origin of species ... This epiphany, which Darwin shared in a letter to his friend Joseph Dalton Hooker, was that flowers in the genus Primula display two distinct form...

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Rich Norby named Fellow in the AGU

Dr Rich Norby, New Phytologist Environment Section Editor and Trustee of the New Phytologist Trust, has been named a 2017 Fellow in the American Geophysical Union.   Since 1981, Rich's career has focused on the responses of organi...

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Plants, People, Planet

How can plant science solve the global challenges of the 21st century? Plants, People, Planet, a new journal launched at the International Botanical Congress (IBC), Shenzhen, China will seek to answer this question.   The New...

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Cucumbers in space

Cucumbers in space Scientists at Tohoku University in Japan have untangled the competing influences of water and gravity on plant roots – by growing cucumbers in spaceflight.   Plant roots grow to find water a process called...

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