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Latest and Breaking Agriculture News

Biology, not just physics, controls release of scent compounds from plants
(Purdue University) Purdue University research suggests active biological mechanisms transport scent and taste compounds known as volatiles from plant cells to the atmosphere, a finding that could overturn the textbook model of volatile emission as a process that occurs solely by diffusion.

Feed supplement greatly reduces dairy cow methane emissions
(Penn State) A supplement added to the feed of high-producing dairy cows reduced methane emissions by 30 percent and could have ramifications for global climate change, according to an international team of researchers.

Rutgers tomato reinvented with even more flavor
(Rutgers University) A new tomato that combines the nostalgia-inducing flavor of an heirloom with the durability of supermarket varieties is Rutgers' answer to anyone who wonders what happened to the flavorful Jersey tomatoes of the past. Now as the university's 250th anniversary approaches, a team of researchers are working to create a new and improved Rutgers tomato, reviving a variety that was thought to be lost to history. They have narrowed their search down to three possibilities.

Keeping algae from stressing out
(DOE/Joint Genome Institute) Some algae like Chlamydomonas reinhardtii produce energy-dense oils or lipids when stressed, and these lipids can then be converted into fuels. However, researchers must stress the algae just enough to produce lipids, but not enough to kill them. In Nature Plants, a team led by DOE Joint Genome Institute scientists analyzed the genes being activated during algal lipid production; particularly the molecular machinery that orchestrates these gene activities inside the cell when it produces lipids.

Sardines, anchovies, other fast-growing fish vulnerable to dramatic population plunges
(Rutgers University) A Rutgers marine biologist studying the rise and fall of fish populations worldwide recently made a counterintuitive discovery: ocean species that grow quickly and reproduce frequently are more likely to experience dramatic plunges in population than larger, slower growing fish such as sharks or tuna. In nearly all of the cases, overfishing was the culprit. Combining climate variability with high levels of fishing greatly increases the risk of population collapse.

Can habitat protection save our disappearing bats?
(Concordia University) In summertime, bats are a common feature in the night sky, swooping around backyards to gobble up mosquitoes. Bats also help with crops: they act as a natural pesticide by feeding on harmful insects. But these winged mammals are now under threat. In a paper recently published in the journal Biological Conservation, researchers from Concordia and the University of Tennessee showed that protecting natural habitats in systems that are highly modified by humans could help struggling bat populations.

Pathogen grows on cold smoked salmon by using alternative metabolic pathways
(American Society for Microbiology) The pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes grows on refrigerated smoked salmon by way of different metabolic pathways from those it uses when growing on laboratory media. The research could lead to reduced incidences of food-borne illness and death, said principal investigator Teresa Bergholz, Ph.D.

Natural cocktail used to prevent, treat disease of wine grapes
(Texas A&M AgriLife Communications) It's happy hour in the battle against Pierce's disease in wine grapes. Scientists have created a phage cocktail that stops the bacteria Xylella fastidiosa. Hear, hear!

Flowers can endanger bees
(University of California - Riverside) Flowers can pose a grave danger to bees, a team of researchers that includes a UC Riverside entomologist has determined. The study is the first to show that not only can bees disperse parasites around the environment but also that flowers are platforms for a host of pollinator parasites subsequently dispersed onto visiting bees. The finding may affect the national and international trade of flowers unless sterilization of parasites on these flowers can be guaranteed.

UW collaborates with National Water Center
(University of Wyoming) The University of Wyoming will receive research and development funding from the National Water Center in exchange for the center harnessing a University of Wyoming researcher's water management model,

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