Pharmacy in the Jungle Study Reveals Indigenous People’s Choice of Medicinal Plants

In one of the most diverse studies of the non-random medicinal plants selection by gender, age and exposure to outside influences from working with ecotourism projects, researchers worked with the Kichwa communities of Chichico Rumi and Kamak Maki in the Ecuadorian Amazon. They discovered a novel method to uncover the intracultural heterogeneity of traditional knowledge while testing the non-random selection of medicinal plants and exploring overuse and underuse of medicinal plant families in these communities.

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Decoding plant chatter could lead to stronger crops

Researchers will use a $2.25 federal grant to study how cells communicate within plants, and between plants and pathogens, to develop crops that are resilient to disease and other stresses. The work also could play a role in reengineering plants and microbes to improve biofuel production.

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Scientists Discover New Antibiotic in Tropical Forest

Scientists from Rutgers University and around the world have discovered an antibiotic produced by a soil bacterium from a Mexican tropical forest that may help lead to a “plant probiotic,” more robust plants and other antibiotics. Probiotics, which provide friendlier bacteria and health benefits for humans, can also be beneficial to plants, keeping them healthy and more robust. The new antibiotic, known as phazolicin, prevents harmful bacteria from getting into the root systems of bean plants, according to a Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Nature Communications.

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UF/IFAS TREC Plant Diagnostic Clinic: Keeping Florida’s Diverse Horticulture Industry Healthy

In south Florida, growers and nurseries of tropical plants, vegetables and crops turn to such experts at the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). At the heart of the center that is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a gala fund raising event at the Coral Gables Country Club on October 26 is the Plant Diagnostic Clinic, established to preserve the health of a unique tropical plant industry.

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