Sensing what plants sense: Integrated framework helps scientists explain biology and predict crop performance

Scientists have invested great time and effort into making connections between a crop’s genotype and its phenotype. But environmental conditions play a role as well. Iowa State University researchers untangle those complex interactions with the help of advanced data analytics in a newly published study.

Plant scientists use robotics to study the interaction of heat stress responses in corn

A new study shows how two responses in separate locations inside plant cells work in concert to help corn plants respond to heat stress. The research was made possible by the Enviratron, an innovative plant sciences facility at Iowa State University that utilizes a robotic rover and highly controlled growth chambers.

New Research Reveals Regulatory Features Of The Maize Genome During Early Reproductive Development

A team of researchers led by Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., assistant member, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, has mapped out the non-coding, ‘functional’ genome in maize during an early developmental window critical to formation of pollen-bearing tassels and grain-bearing ears.

New test measures corn nitrogen needs with greater accuracy

A recently published study analyzed a combination of soil tests to gauge corn nitrogen needs more accurately than the standard chemical tests that have been in use for roughly 50 years. The research could result in economic benefits to farmers and improved environmental quality.

Diverse cropping systems don’t increase carbon storage compared to corn-soybean rotations

Diversified crop rotations protect water quality and have other environmental benefits, but recent experiments show that farms can’t rely on such rotations to improve carbon storage in the soil. The findings contradict widely held expectations that the extensive root systems of perennials and cover crops would deposit carbon in soils.

How to Make it Easier to Turn Plant Waste into Biofuels

Researchers have developed a new process that could make it much cheaper to produce biofuels such as ethanol from plant waste and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Their approach, featuring an ammonia-salt based solvent that rapidly turns plant fibers into sugars needed to make ethanol, works well at close to room temperature, unlike conventional processes, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Green Chemistry.

Two Rutgers Professors Named Fellows of AAAS

Two Rutgers professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this year, an honor awarded to AAAS members by their peers. They join 441 other AAAS members named new fellows because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The fellows will be presented an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Feb. 15 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

Corn and soybean rotation could pose long-term tradeoffs for soil health

A new study examines the mechanisms that drive the decomposition of organic matter in soils that undergo long-term corn and soybean crop rotations. The study shows how corn and soybean rotations can provide important environmental and management benefits for farmers, but the practice also comes with tradeoffs that some farmers may wish to address by adjusting their management practices.