Plant Biology: March 2021

An evolutionary mystery that had eluded molecular biologists for decades may never have been solved if it weren't for the COVID-19 pandemic.

When geobiology graduate student Katie Maloney trekked into the mountains of Canada's remote Yukon territory, she was hoping to find microscopic fossils of early life. Even with detailed field plans, the odds of finding just the right rocks were low. Far from leaving empty-handed, though, she hiked back out with some of the most significant fossils for the time period.

Researchers find that the earliest bacteria had the tools to perform a crucial step in photosynthesis, changing how we think life evolved on Earth.

Extra Dwarf Pak Choi plants are pictured growing inside the Veggie space botany research facility aboard the International Space Station. The Veg-03 investigation is exploring how to grow food in space and assesses the impact of space gardening on crew morale and mood.