In stories we shared yesterday, some tree planting initiatives got the go ahead, while others are caught up in legal battles. And in Nebraska, they’re doing things differently.

Lebanon’s Christians feel the heat of climate change in its sacred forest and valley

For Lebanon’s Christians, the cedars are sacred, these tough evergreen trees that survive the mountain’s harsh snowy winters.

‘Pocket Prairie’ project restores native Nebraska plants to unused spaces

Making use of bland, empty spaces. That’s what an Omaha organization is doing around the metro, with hopes to expand across other parts of the Great Plains. “Pocket Prairies” is what they’re called, and the idea was born and bred by Grasslands Unlimited, an organization whose goal is restoring and protecting grassland ecosystems.

Research Geneticist (Plants) (USA)

This position is located within the Agricultural Research Service, Pacific West Area, Horticultural Crops Production & Genetic Improvement Research Unit in Corvallis, OR. In this position, you will be responsible for acquiring and evaluating new blueberry germplasm, and incorporating and developing the germplasm into cultivars for the commercial industry.

Tree planting aims to attract ‘iconic’ purple emperor butterfly

Hundreds of trees will be planted in Derbyshire to try to attract one of Britain’s largest butterflies to the area for the first time. Goat willow trees are being planted because the “iconic” purple emperor butterfly uses them as a habitat.

What a lawsuit over planting sequoias tells us about mega fires

National Park Service officials want to help the forests recover and regrow by planting seedlings. ”Natural regeneration may not be sufficient to support self-sustaining groves into the future, particularly as the fires killed an unprecedented number of reproductive sequoia trees in the groves themselves,” the agency said in a news release. But a contingent of environmental groups is suing NPS over its plan.

China opens world’s tallest unmanned veggie farm as more urban agriculture advancements take root

Vertical farms are seen as an essential means of bringing enough food to arid and urban parts of China, with automated facilities that provide year-round harvests. Unaffected by climate constraints, new Chengdu facility can reportedly produce a harvest of lettuce every 35 days under AI-controlled environmental conditions.

Afforestation increases microbial diversity in low-carbon soils ($)

Afforestation has an important role in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem function improvement. Pang et al. carried out a meta-analysis in China, which has the largest plantation area globally, to quantify the effects of plantings on soil microbial diversity. The results showed that the overall effect of afforestation on soil microbial diversity was positive across the country.

Rht12b, a widely used ancient allele of TaGA2oxA13, reduces plant height and enhances yield potential in wheat ($)

Bian et al. identified a new wheat dwarfing allele Rht12b conferring reduced height and higher grain yield, pinpointed its causal variations, developed a breeding-applicable marker, and traced its origin and worldwide distribution.

Wild bee and pollen microbiomes across an urban-rural divide ($)

This study examines the bacterial, fungal, and plant compositions of the small carpenter bee, Ceratina calcarata, and its pollen provisions across an urban-rural divide. Nguyen & Rehan performed metabarcoding of C. calcarata and provisions in Toronto by targeting the 16S rRNA, ITS, and rbcL regions. Despite similar plant composition and diversity across bees and their provisions, there was a greater microbial diversity in pollen provisions than in bees.

Leaf growth – complex regulation of a seemingly simple process ($)

In this review, Schneider et al focus on the genetic networks governing leaf cell proliferation, one major contributor to final leaf size. First, they provide an overview of six regulator families of leaf growth in Arabidopsis: DA1, PEAPODs, KLU, GRFs, the SWI/SNF complexes, and DELLAs, together with their surrounding genetic networks. Next, they discuss their evolutionary conservation to highlight similarities and differences among species, because knowledge transfer between species remains a big challenge. Finally, they focus on the increase in knowledge of the interconnectedness between these genetic pathways, the function of the cell cycle machinery as their central convergence point, and other internal and environmental cues.

Ancient Potato Varieties of the Canary Islands: Their History, Diversity and Origin of the Potato in Europe (OA)

This article traces the history of ancient potatoes in the Canary Islands and investigates in depth the introduction of potatoes in Europe through the Canary Islands. It contributes to describing the cultivated plant genetic resources of the Solanum spp. as well as their current situation and cultivation. It also describes traditional cultivation practices, the importance of the in situ conservation of theses varieties and the threats that affect them such as the Guatemalan potato moth.

To bind or not to bind: how AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs select their target genes (OA)

In this review, Rienstra et al. provide an overview of key aspects of ARF DNA binding such as auxin response elements (TGTCNN) and tandem repeat motifs, and consider how structural biology and in vitro studies help us understand ARF DNA preferences. They also highlight some recent aspects related to the regulation of ARF levels inside a cell, which may alter the DNA binding profile of ARFs in different tissues. They finally emphasize the need to study minimal NAP systems to understand fundamental aspects of ARF function, the need to characterize algal ARFs to understand how ARFs evolved, how cutting-edge techniques can increase our understanding of ARFs, and which remaining questions can only be answered by structural biology.

Cover: Nebraska prairie. Image: Canva.

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