arid grassland

Drylands ecology:
Island fertility

  • David J. Eldridge
  • Jingyi Ding
  • Fernando T. Maestre


  • Tropical forest aerial view

    Tropical forests are incredible reservoirs of biodiversity, and home to many of the world’s highly specialised species. Yet, along with increasing pressures from deforestation, fragmentation, and degradation, tropical forests are increasingly under threat from climate change.

  • Seed pods, flowers and seeds of soybean

    A novel DNA transposon element called GftoMITE1 integrates into the CenH3 gene in Glycine falcata. GftoMITE1 shows a genome-specific distribution in wild perennial soybean species, regardless of ploidy, but is absent in cultivated soybean and its progenitor.

  • Beech hanger in Italy

    European beech is one of the most ecologically and economically important tree species and, like other trees in Italy, affected by extreme events such as heat waves and drought currently occurring in the European basin which are expected to increase in the future. Understanding how this species will respond to such events is crucial.

  • Rorippa aquatica growing in pots

    Rorippa aquatica, an amphibious plant native to North America, shows remarkable heterophylly in response to environmental cues such as temperature, light, and submergence. Its leaves become more dissected and narrow when submerged than when on land.

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  • Technological advances have demonstrated the possibility of chemical synthesis of a multicellular plant genome. What does this mean for humans and how should we prepare for this breakthrough?

  • Marks et al. explore the repeated evolution of desiccation tolerance in grasses. Their analysis of diverse resurrection grasses reveals significant genetic convergence and parallel evolution, suggesting a shared foundation for adapting to extreme drought.

    • Rose A. Marks
    • Llewelyn Van Der Pas
    • Robert VanBuren
  • Characterization of Rmg8, the major resistance gene for wheat blast found in common wheat, brought a surprise: it is a variant of Pm4, a resistance gene for powdery mildew disease. Both genes recognize the AVR-Rmg8 gene of the wheat blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae pathotype Triticum (MoT), which results in resistance against this pathogen. This discovery opens avenues for developing wheat varieties to combat wheat blast disease.

    • Tofazzal Islam
    • Rojana Binte Azad
    News & Views
    • Guillaume Tena
    Research Highlight
  • Two groups of scientists independently engineer gene drives in Arabidopsis thaliana, demonstrating the possibility for spreading fitness-reducing genetic modifications through wild populations of plants for population suppression.

    • Paul Neve
    • Luke Barrett
    News & Views