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.

Local cooking preferences drove acceptance of new crop staples in prehistoric China

The food preparation preferences of Chinese cooks — such as the technological choice to boil or steam grains, instead of grinding or processing them into flour — had continental-scale consequences for the adoption of new crops in prehistoric China, according to research from Washington University in St. Louis. A new study in PLOS ONE led by Xinyi Liu, associate professor of archaeology in Arts & Sciences, focuses on the ancient history of staple cereals across China, a country well known for its diverse food products and early adoption of many domesticated plants.