Arabidopsis Uses Defense Metabolites to Mediate Drought Tolerance

Brassica plants, such as broccoli, produce specialized metabolites that benefit humans by inducing anti-cancer defenses and providing flavor. These same compounds benefit the plant by attacking insects. Recent work however is showing that the plant also uses these flavor/anti-cancer compounds to defend against drought. The metabolite, glucoraphanin (4-methylsulfinylbutyl glucosinolate), is the focus of a new…

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Rainfall Drives Variation in Rates of Change in Intrinsic Water Use Efficiency of Tropical Forests

In a new article in the journal Nature Communications – Rainfall Drives Variation in Rates of Change in Intrinsic Water Use Efficiency of Tropical Forests – the authors inferred water use efficiency (WUE) from carbon isotope discrimination in tree rings from tropical forests around the world for most of the 20th century (1915–1995). “As expected,…

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The California Tree Mortality Data Collection Network — Enhanced communication and collaboration among scientists and stakeholders

An article in the new issue of California Agriculture addresses how critical research and dialogue are underway to understand the consequences of the massive wave of tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada. Over 147 million dead trees were detected in California by the U.S. Forest Service from 2010 to 2018. The massive tree mortality, mostly…

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Thinning Forests, Prescribed Fire Before Drought Reduced Tree Loss

Treatments May Reduce Loss in Future Droughts and Bark Beetle Epidemics Thinning forests and conducting prescribed burns may help preserve trees in future droughts and bark beetle epidemics expected under climate change, suggests a study from the University of California, Davis. The study, published in the journal Ecological Applications, found that thinning and prescribed fire…

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Landscape Plants for Water Conservation: Horticultural Research Institute Funding for Loren Oki

UC Davis Plant Sciences faculty and Cooperative Extension Specialist Loren Oki received research funding for 2019 from the Horticultural Research Institute for the project “Landscape Plant Performance: Water Use Assessments of New Cultivar Selections.” He is one of fifteen recipients from thirteen universities; a total of $437,200 was awarded to the fifteen projects. Landscape Plant…

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Six Faculty Join the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis – Gail Taylor, Brian Bailey, Barbara Blanco-Ulate, Pat Brown, Tom Buckley, Mohsen Mesgaran

As the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis finishes the academic year (2017–18) and embarks on a new year, it’s time to meet six new faculty who joined the department during the last two years. These faculty, covering broad discipline areas, have bolstered the breadth and strength of the renowned department. In the next…

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