- Author: Pat Bailey
Restaurant patrons with their varied food preferences play a huge role in determining which food items are included on the menu. Now an international team of researchers, including a UC Davis plant scientist, is finding that plant-eating insects do much the same in the natural world, maintaining and shaping the genetic variation of their host plants in a geographic area.
The plant-grazing bugs accomplish this by forcing the plants to create diverse natural defenses to avoid being eaten, which in turn shapes the genetic makeup of the plants in a region. The researchers discovered this by studying aphids and the broccoli-like research plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Their findings provide the first measurable evidence...
- Author: Iqbal Pittalwala
At 925 million, the number of hungry people in the world is unacceptably high.
To combat world hunger, many scientists are working on developing crops that can resist disease and withstand the elements, from drought to floods. One such scientist is Sean Cutler at UC Riverside, whose breakthrough discovery last year of pyrabactin has brought drought-tolerant crops closer to becoming reality and spawned new research in several labs around the world.