Thirsty wheat needed new water management strategy in ancient China

Research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that a practice of purposeful water management, or irrigation, was adopted in northern China about 4,000 years ago as part of an effort to grow new grains that had been introduced from southwest Asia. But the story gets more complex from there. Wheat and barley arrived on the scene at about the same time, but early farmers only used water management techniques for wheat.

Weedy rice has become herbicide resistant through rapid evolution

Biologists used whole-genome sequences of 48 contemporary weedy rice plants to show how herbicide resistance evolved by gene flow from crop rice. Almost all other cases of herbicide resistance in agricultural weeds result from selection of tolerant genotypes in the weed species.