Recently in the Plant Biology Category

The ~1.6 Ga Tirohan Dolomite of the Lower Vindhyan in central India contains phosphatized stromatolitic microbialites. We report from there uniquely well-preserved fossils interpreted as probable crown-group rhodophytes (red algae).

Photosynthesis, creating oxygen and carbohydrates such as glucose from solar energy, water, and CO2, is indispensable for many species on this planet. However, it is unclear exactly how or when organisms evolved the ability to photosynthesize. These questions have fascinated scientists for a long time.

How do plants know which way is up? This might seem like an obvious question, but how exactly does a plant know which way to grow its roots and which way to grow towards the Sun?

Plant biologists agree that it all began with green algae. At some point in our planet's history, the common ancestor of trees, ferns, and flowers developed an alternating life cycle--presumably allowing their offspring to float inland and conquer Earth

A new study shows that iron-bearing rocks that formed at the ocean floor 3.2 billion years ago carry unmistakable evidence of oxygen.

Recently, the Kepler Space Telescope has detected several planets in orbit around a close binary star system.

Taking the Shine Off Glaciers

The first ecological study of an entire glacier has found that microbes drastically reduce surface reflectivity and have a non-negligible impact on the amount of sunlight that is reflected into space.

Scientists from the University of the Philippines, Los Banos have discovered a new plant species with an unusual lifestyle -- it eats nickel for a living -- accumulating up to 18,000 ppm of the metal in its leaves without itself being poisoned.

The goal of finding and characterizing nearby Earth-like planets is driving many NASA high-contrast flagship mission concepts, the latest of which is known as the Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST).

Bringing Extinct Plants to Life

Jeff Benca is an admitted ueber-geek when it comes to prehistoric plants, so it was no surprise that, when he submitted a paper describing a new species of long-extinct lycopod for publication, he ditched the standard line drawing and insisted on a detailed and beautifully rendered color reconstruction of the plant. This piece earned the cover of March's centennial issue of the American Journal of Botany.