Arboretum scientists have pinpointed how mother plants of a water lily species take control of rearing offspring, part of a 25-year quest to understand how mothers and fathers interact in the creation of a flowering plant seed.
Supported by a Sinnott Award, Callin Switzer with colleagues Robin Hopkins and Stacy Combes examined the unique method of pollination in mountain laurel. With the anther filaments acting as catapults, the pollen reaches speeds of 8 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest moving plants in the world! Abstract»Harvard Gazette»
Scientists estimate that food supplies will need to double by 2050 to meet demand. In greenhouse experiments conducted at the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard researchers discovered a way to more than double crop size by introducing a soil bacterium that converts nitrogen from the atmosphere into robust and sustainable fertilizer.
Most wine is produced from the same 12 varieties of grapes. Agricultural crops, including wine grapes, are predicted to be greatly impacted by climate change. Published in Nature Climate Change, Elizabeth Wolkovich,Ignacio Morales-Castilla and co-workers discuss how the other ~1100 varieties of grapes available, and the diversity of their attributes, may play an important role in the future. Read more»abstract»
While the pawpaw, (Asimina triloba) is one of few native North American fruit trees, not much is known about its flower and fruit development. Juan Losada (Arboretum Fellow), Iñaki Hormaza and Jorge Lora (Jewett Prize Recipient) examined its development in American Journal of Botany. Complementing this work, the genome of Asimina triloba, 12708*A, is being sequencedwith support from an Arboretum Sequencing Award. abstract»
New research in Nature Plants by Jessica Savage, Juan Losada, and Missy Holbrook finally answers the long standing question of how trees maintain efficient sugar transport as they grow taller. They found that the phloem structure, the vascular tissue that transports carbohydrates, changes with increasing height. abstract»Harvard Gazette »
The Arboretum is pleased to announce that you now have a choice in how you watch Arboretum Research Talks. Starting on Monday at 12:10pm, you can attend a talk in person or you can watch live on the Arboretum’s YouTube channel. The live stream video is entitled “Arnold Arboretum Live Stream” (and is visible only when a live stream is in progress.) Research talks dive deep into the data and are free and open to the public.
The early evolution of flowers remains something of a mystery. As part of her Master’s research, Kristel Schoonderwoerd, PhD Candidate in the Friedman Lab, joined a large international team to reconstruct the ancestral flower based on DNA and floral characteristics of known flowers. The results are published in Nature Communications. more»abstract»