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Latest and Breaking Agriculture News

Scientists replicate the tide with two buckets, aquarium tubing, and a pump
(American Journal of Botany) A design for a new, inexpensive tidal simulation unit enables researchers to investigate tidal marsh plant growth in a controlled setting. The unit costs less than US$27 to build, takes up less than two square feet of space, and does not require external plumbing; the protocol is available in the November issue of Applications in Plant Sciences. The system could be an important tool for researchers working to preserve and restore environmentally important wetlands.

Breaking down DNA by genome
(American Journal of Botany) A new study in the November issue of Applications in Plant Sciences provides plant biologists with an efficient approach for separating plant nuclear DNA from organellar DNA for genomic and metagenomic studies. The approach targets the methyl-CpG-binding domain and allows researchers to isolate nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial DNA, and can also target genomes of endophytes and prokaryotic parasites in plant DNA samples.

Mussels on California Coast contaminated with giardia transmitted from land-based sources
(American Society for Microbiology) The pathogen Giardia duodenalis is present in mussels from freshwater run-off sites and from areas where California Sea Lions lounge along the coast of California, according to a team of researchers from the University of California, Davis. One of the G. duodenalis strains found is known to infect humans; the two others occur mostly in dogs and other canids. 'Thus, the detection of these assemblages implies a potential public health risk if consuming fecally contaminated water or uncooked shellfish,' says coauthor Woutrina Smith.

Scientists seek cure for devastating witches' broom disease of the chocolate tree
(American Society of Plant Biologists) As children across the country savor the last of this year's Halloween candy, a deadly and untreatable fungus, Moniliophthora perniciosa, is hexing chocolate tree, Theobroma cacao, plantations in many South and Central American countries, threatening livelihoods and imperiling the world's favorite treat. A team of scientists from Brazil has taken the first steps towards conquering this aggressive fungus by deciphering the interaction between the fungus and the chocolate tree at the molecular level.

Bladderwrack: Tougher than suspected
(Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)) The bladderwrack Fucus vesiculosus is actually one of the most important species of brown algae along the North Atlantic coasts. But for years their populations in the Baltic Sea were declining. Looking for the reasons, biologists of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel now have analyzed the defense mechanisms of bladderwrack against bacterial vermins under different environmental conditions. The surprising result: The defense proved to be very robust to environmental changes. The study is published today in the international online-journal PLOS ONE.

New step towards eradication of H5N1 bird flu
(University of Adelaide) A University of Adelaide-led project has developed a new test that can distinguish between birds that have been vaccinated against the H5N1 strain of avian influenza virus or 'bird flu' with those that have been naturally infected.

Avivagen publishes evidence for natural alternative to antibiotic use in livestock
(JS Communications) Today the leading journal PLOS ONE published research that provides underlying scientific support for a fundamentally new type of natural alternative to the use of antibiotics in livestock feeds for growth promotion and disease prevention. This research comes at a time when stakeholders across the globe, including national health regulators, are looking to avoid usage of antibiotics in livestock due to concerns they pose threats to public health.

ESA Frontiers November preview
(Ecological Society of America) Connectivity cost calculations for conservation corridors, crop companions, jellyfish and human well-being and micromanaging microbes.

Dartmouth study finds restoring wetlands can lessen soil sinkage, greenhouse gas emissions
(Dartmouth College) Restoring wetlands can help reduce or reverse soil subsidence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to research in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta by Dartmouth College researchers and their colleagues.

Reef-builders with a sense of harmony
(Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)) Cold-water corals of the species Lophelia pertusa are able to fuse skeletons of genetically distinct individuals. On dives with JAGO, a research submersible stationed at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, scientists from Scotland and Germany made the first-ever discovery of branches of different colors that had flawlessly merged. The ability to fuse supports the reef stability and thus contributes to the success of corals as reef-builders of the deep sea.

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