Researchers have created drought resistant transgenic rice using a gene from a small Eurasian flowering plant.... Read more »
Selvaraj, M., Ishizaki, T., Valencia, M., Ogawa, S., Dedicova, B., Ogata, T., Yoshiwara, K., Maruyama, K., Kusano, M., Saito, K.... (2017) Overexpression of an galactinol synthase gene improves drought tolerance in transgenic rice and increased grain yield in the field . Plant Biotechnology Journal. DOI: 10.1111/pbi.12731
by Piter Kehoma Boll If you are walking through the forest of Central America, you may end up finding something that at first you could think is a group of bamboos, plants growing as a cylindrical segmented stem that can … Continue reading →... Read more »
Revilla, M., Andrade-Cetto, A., Islas, S., & Wiedenfeld, H. (2002) Hypoglycemic effect of Equisetum myriochaetum aerial parts on type 2 diabetic patients. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 81(1), 117-120. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00053-3
by Piter Kehoma Boll Let’s return once more to the troublesome and neglected protists. This time I’m bringing you another tiny but beautiful alga, more precisely a golden alga. Its name is Dinobryon divergens and as usual there is no common … Continue reading →... Read more »
Franke, W., & Herth, W. (1973) Cell and lorica fine structure of the chrysomonad alga, Dinobryon sertularia Ehr. (Chrysophyceae). Archiv für Mikrobiologie, 91(4), 323-344. DOI: 10.1007/BF00425052
Herth, W. (1979) Behaviour of the chrysoflagellate alga, Dinobryon divergens, during lorica formation. Protoplasma, 100(3-4), 345-351. DOI: 10.1007/BF01279321
KARIM, A., & ROUND, F. (1967) Microfibrils in the lorica of the freshwater alga Dinobryon. New Phytologist, 66(3), 409-412. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.1967.tb06020.x
Sandgren, C. (1981) Characteristics of sexual and asexual resting cyst (statospore) formation in Dinobryon cylindricum Imhof (Chrysophyta). Journal of Phycology, 17(2), 199-210. DOI: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.1981.tb00840.x
Sheath, R., Hellebust, J., & Sawa, T. (1975) The statospore of Dinobryon divergens Imhof: Formation and germination in a subarctic lake. Journal of Phycology, 11(2), 131-138. DOI: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.1975.tb02760.x
by Piter Kehoma Boll As the first conifer Friday Fellow, I decided to choose one of my beloved ones, the Paraná pine, Araucaria angustifolia, also known as Brazilian pine or candelabra tree. The Paraná pine can reach up to 50 m … Continue reading →... Read more »
SOUZA, A. (2007) Ecological interpretation of multiple population size structures in trees: The case of Araucaria angustifolia in South America. Austral Ecology, 32(5), 524-533. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2007.01724.x
Zandavalli, R., Dillenburg, L., & de Souza, P. (2004) Growth responses of Araucaria angustifolia (Araucariaceae) to inoculation with the mycorrhizal fungus Glomus clarum. Applied Soil Ecology, 25(3), 245-255. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2003.09.009
by Piter Kehoma Boll This week we’ll stay in the sea and meet on of the most impressive algae, the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. It is called giant for a good reason, since it can grow up to 50 m in … Continue reading →... Read more »
by Piter Kehoma Boll This is the last Friday Fellow of the year and I decided to choose a beautiful and little known plant, the peacock spikemoss, more commonly known as Willdenow’s spikemoss or peacock fern, and scientifically known as Selaginella … Continue reading →... Read more »
Chai, Tsun-Thai, & Wong, Fai-Chu. (2012) Antioxidant properties of aqueous extracts of Selaginella willdenowii. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 6(7). DOI: 10.5897/JMPR11.1378
by Piter Kehoma Boll Celebrating Christmas (or whatever you call this time of the year), today’s Friday Fellow is another lichen. And the reason I chose it is because it is known as Christmas wreath lichen due to its red … Continue reading →... Read more »
by Piter Kehoma Boll It’s always hard to introduce a less charismatic species here. Not because they are less interesting to me, but because I cannot find good information available. But I try to do my best to show all … Continue reading →... Read more »
Ariosa, Y., Quesada, A., Aburto, J., Carrasco, D., Carreres, R., Leganes, F., & Fernandez Valiente, E. (2004) Epiphytic Cyanobacteria on Chara vulgaris Are the Main Contributors to N2 Fixation in Rice Fields. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 70(9), 5391-5397. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.70.9.5391-5397.2004
Pity the insect that tumbles into a pitcher plant's trap. The slippery walls and waiting pool of water ensure it won't clamber back out. There's nothing left to do but wait to be digested.
The California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica) is also called the cobra lily for its curled-over shape that hides its exit from its victims. Unlike other pitcher plants, it doesn't fill its trap from above with rainwater but from below, drawing water up with its roots. But like others, it seems... Read more »
Armitage DW. (2016) Bacteria facilitate prey retention by the pitcher plant Darlingtonia californica. Biology letters, 12(11). PMID: 27881762
by Piter Kehoma Boll Today’s Friday Fellow may not seem to be such an astonishing plant, but it has its peculiarities, some of them quite interesting. Commonly known as Indian shot, African arrowroot, purple arrowroot, and many other names, it … Continue reading →... Read more »
Cui, L., Ouyang, Y., Lou, Q., Yang, F., Chen, Y., Zhu, W., & Luo, S. (2010) Removal of nutrients from wastewater with Canna indica L. under different vertical-flow constructed wetland conditions. Ecological Engineering, 36(8), 1083-1088. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2010.04.026
Woradulayapinij, W., Soonthornchareonnon, N., & Wiwat, C. (2005) In vitro HIV type 1 reverse transcriptase inhibitory activities of Thai medicinal plants and Canna indica L. rhizomes. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 101(1-3), 84-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2005.03.030
by Piter Kehoma Boll Most of you likely know what diatoms are, microscopic algae with a silica shell that are very abundant in the world’s oceans and one of the main oxygen producers. You may have seen images like the … Continue reading →... Read more »
Ianora, A., Poulet, S., Miralto, A., & Grottoli, R. (1996) The diatom Thalassiosira rotula affects reproductive success in the copepod Acartia clausi. Marine Biology, 125(2), 279-286. DOI: 10.1007/BF00346308
Krawiec, R. (1982) Autecology and clonal variability of the marine centric diatom Thalassiosira rotula (Bacillariophyceae) in response to light, temperature and salinity. Marine Biology, 69(1), 79-89. DOI: 10.1007/BF00396964
by Piter Kehoma Boll Found throughout most of the world, you probably have encountered this fellow many times in your life, but did not pay any attention. After all, it is just a moss! Scientifically known as Bryum argenteum and popularly … Continue reading →... Read more »
Shaw, A., & Albright, D. (1990) Potential for the Evolution of Heavy Metal Tolerance in Bryum argenteum, a Moss. II. Generalized Tolerances among Diverse Populations. The Bryologist, 93(2), 187. DOI: 10.2307/3243622
In the form of a creepy Jack-o’-lantern frightening kids who seek for treats, or of a creamy soup in a cold fall night, pumpkins are the most distinctive fruits we find on the market stands in this season. But this fruit, in its larger variants, is also at the center of a special type of competition that takes place every year. A group of fierce farmers equipped with large scales and the heaviest products of their fields meet up to determine who among them was able to grow the largest pump........ Read more »
Savage, J., Haines, D., & Holbrook, N. (2015) The making of giant pumpkins: how selective breeding changed the phloem of from source to sink . Plant, Cell , 38(8), 1543-1554. DOI: 10.1111/pce.12502
by Piter Kehoma Boll Last week I introduced a cyanobacteria that reminds me of my childhood and that is commonly known as witch’s jelly or witch’s butter. But witch’s butter is also the common name of fungus, so I thought … Continue reading →... Read more »
Lo, H., Tsai, F., Wasser, S., Yang, J., & Huang, B. (2006) Effects of ingested fruiting bodies, submerged culture biomass, and acidic polysaccharide glucuronoxylomannan of Tremella mesenterica Retz.:Fr. on glycemic responses in normal and diabetic rats. Life Sciences, 78(17), 1957-1966. DOI: 10.1016/j.lfs.2005.08.033
What do you see in the picture? An elephant, right?
Some will say that they see an African elephant, or perhaps an elephant in the savannah protecting from the sun in the shade of a tree. But who sees an elephant and a majestic flowering baobab surrounded by savannah shrubs in a dry grass meadow?
If your answer is the latter, congratulations, you are a quite unique case. If in the picture you just see “an elephant” then you are just like most of the people around you.
This pheno........ Read more »
by Piter Kehoma Boll If you are walking through a forest in Europe you may find the bark of some trees covered by a thin rosy or orange crust. Commonly known as rosy crust, its scientific name is Peniophora incarnata. As … Continue reading →... Read more »
Lee, H., Yun, S., Jang, S., Kim, G., & Kim, J. (2015) Bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Creosote-Contaminated Soil by Peniophora incarnata KUC8836. Bioremediation Journal, 19(1), 1-8. DOI: 10.1080/10889868.2014.939136
Suay, I., Arenal, F,, Asensio, F. J., Basilio, A., Cabello, M. A., Díez, M. T., García, J. B., González del Val, A., Gorrochategui, J., Hernández, P.... (2000) Screening of basidiomycetes for antimicrobial activities. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 78(2), 129-140. DOI: 10.1023/A:1026552024021
by Piter Kehoma Boll It’s more than time to bring a fern as a Friday Fellow, and I decided to start with one of my favorites, the Neotropical tree fern Dicksonia sellowiana, known in Brazil as Samambaiaçu or Xaxim. The samambaiaçu … Continue reading →... Read more »
Schmitt, J., Schneider, P., & Windisch, P. (2009) Crescimento do cáudice e fenologia de Dicksonia sellowiana Hook. (Dicksoniaceae) no sul do Brasil. Acta Botanica Brasilica, 23(1), 283-291. DOI: 10.1590/S0102-33062009000100030
In the morning you get up, trudge all the way to the sink, grab a bar of soap and rub it on your face. Sometimes, after you rinsed, you realize that some soap got into your mouth. The taste is nasty, pungent, more in your nose than on your tongue and it persists until you eat or drink something.
This sickening feeling doesn’t hit me only in my brightest mornings, but also every time in an ethnic restaurant or during a trip the cook decides to decorate my tacos or my curry with some chop........ Read more »
Eriksson, N., Wu, S., Do, C., Kiefer, A., Tung, J., Mountain, J., Hinds, D., & Francke, U. (2012) A genetic variant near olfactory receptor genes influences cilantro preference. Flavour, 1(1), 22. DOI: 10.1186/2044-7248-1-22
Callaway, E. (2012) Soapy taste of coriander linked to genetic variants. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature.2012.11398
by Piter Kehoma Boll Today’s Friday Fellow is a creeping (but not creepy) plant with nice deep blue flowers shaped like a human female genitalia. Yeah, you read that right. Its scientific name is Clitoria ternatea, the genus name being a … Continue reading →... Read more »
Devi, B., Boominathan, R., & Mandal, S. (2003) Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties of Clitoria ternatea root. Fitoterapia, 74(4), 345-349. DOI: 10.1016/S0367-326X(03)00057-1
Taranalli, A., & Cheeramkuzhy, T. (2011) Influence of Clitoria Ternatea Extracts on Memory and Central Cholinergic Activity in Rats. Pharmaceutical Biology, 38(1), 51-56. DOI: 10.1076/1388-0209(200001)3811-BFT051
by Piter Kehoma Boll What if the cure for cancer has been living in your garden all this time and you have been trying to get rid of it because it is an annoying weed? I cannot assure you that … Continue reading →... Read more »
Brandão, M., Krettli, A., Soares, L., Nery, C., & Marinuzzi, H. (1997) Antimalarial activity of extracts and fractions from Bidens pilosa and other Bidens species (Asteraceae) correlated with the presence of acetylene and flavonoid compounds. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 57(2), 131-138. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-8741(97)00060-3
Chang, J., Chiang, L., Chen, C., Liu, L., Wang, K., & Lin, C. (2001) Antileukemic Activity of Bidens pilosa L. var. minor (Blume) Sherff and Houttuynia cordata Thunb. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 29(02), 303-312. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X01000320
Chiang, L., Chang, J., Chen, C., Ng, L., & Lin, C. (2003) Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Activity of Bidens pilosa and Houttuynia cordata. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 31(03), 355-362. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X03001090
Deba, F., Xuan, T., Yasuda, M., & Tawata, S. (2008) Chemical composition and antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal activities of the essential oils from Bidens pilosa Linn. var. Radiata. Food Control, 19(4), 346-352. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2007.04.011
Kviecinski, M., Felipe, K., Schoenfelder, T., de Lemos Wiese, L., Rossi, M., Gonçalez, E., Felicio, J., Filho, D., & Pedrosa, R. (2008) Study of the antitumor potential of Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae) used in Brazilian folk medicine. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 117(1), 69-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.01.017
Oliveira, F., Andrade-Neto, V., Krettli, A., & Brandão, M. (2004) New evidences of antimalarial activity of Bidens pilosa roots extract correlated with polyacetylene and flavonoids. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 93(1), 39-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2004.03.026
Pereira, R., Ibrahim, T., Lucchetti, L., da Silva, A., & de Moraes, V. (1999) Immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory effects of methanolic extract and the polyacetylene isolated from Bidens pilosa L. Immunopharmacology, 43(1), 31-37. DOI: 10.1016/S0162-3109(99)00039-9
Sun, Y., Zhou, Q., Wang, L., & Liu, W. (2009) Cadmium tolerance and accumulation characteristics of Bidens pilosa L. as a potential Cd-hyperaccumulator. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 161(2-3), 808-814. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.04.030
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