Scientists at the John Innes Centre (JIC)  in Norwich, UK, report today a breakthrough in understanding how crop plants use daylength to ensure they flower at the right time of year. In an article published in the international journal Science, they describe a gene that controls how barley reacts to the length of the day and thus controls when it flowers.
Most plants flower at a particular time of the year and researchers have known for a long time that plants use cues from their environment to control when they flower. Many crops, including barley, react to the length of the day (daylength) and use this to determine their flowering time.
“Different varieties of barley (and other crops) respond to daylength in different ways and this has been used to breed varieties adapted to grow in different farming environments” said Dr David Laurie (Project Leader at JIC). “Our result is exciting because for the first time we have identified the gene (called Ppd-H1)  that controls this very important response and now understand how plants monitor daylength. This should help breeders who are breeding new varieties for new environments and changing agricultural conditions – caused by global climate change.”
Dr David Laurie | alfa
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
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