Perspectives

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  • While diurnal cycling of carbon and water use are critical for plant and ecosystem research, existing polar-orbiting satellites are incapable of providing such measurements. This Perspective evaluates the potential contributions of new satellites and platforms for Earth system models.

    • Jingfeng Xiao
    • Joshua B. Fisher
    • Nicholas C. Parazoo
    Perspective
  • How do plants acquire their shape? In this Perspective, the authors discuss how morphogenesis and patterning occur in the Arabidopsis shoot apical meristem, and the benefits of computational modelling to understand this complex process.

    • Teva Vernoux
    • Fabrice Besnard
    • Christophe Godin
    Perspective
  • Increases in tree mortality affect the ability of forests to absorb and store atmospheric carbon, but how the largest trees die is still relatively understudied. This Perspective posits and examines several biotic and abiotic drivers affecting these trees and their disproportionate impacts.

    • Evan M. Gora
    • Adriane Esquivel-Muelbert
    Perspective
  • Agriculture attempts to satisfy the demand for food of a growing human population but contributes to environmental degradation. However, there are technological options for agriculture to deliver food security and potentially reduce atmospheric CO2.

    • Peter Horton
    • Stephen P. Long
    • David J. Beerling
    Perspective
  • Asia has a rich variety of nutritious ‘neglected crops’, including cereals, roots and pulses. Adopting a diverse cropping portfolio using these forgotten crops is a promising approach to closing the current production and nutrition gaps.

    • Kadambot H. M. Siddique
    • Xuan Li
    • Karl Gruber
    Perspective
  • All living organisms require proper environmental pH for normal growth and development. Unlike in bacteria, fungi and animal cells, the mechanisms for environmental pH sensing in plants are underexamined. In this Perspective, the authors summarize the current understanding of the process in various organisms and propose possible molecular mechanisms underlying the perception of external pH in plants.

    • Huei-Hsuan Tsai
    • Wolfgang Schmidt
    Perspective
  • The landscape of forest and human activity is ever shifting, but new large-scale trends are causing exceptional changes and potential space for new conservation and development for communities dependent on forests.

    • Johan A. Oldekop
    • Laura Vang Rasmussen
    • Sarah J. Wilson
    Perspective
  • This perspective highlights the new species-independent analytical tools with a focus on plant nanosensors and portable Raman spectroscopy, and evaluates their applications in agriculture, such as detecting plant stresses and monitoring crop physiology.

    • Tedrick Thomas Salim Lew
    • Rajani Sarojam
    • Michael S. Strano
    Perspective
  • Genebanks are repositories of genetic diversity, and getting the seeds to the facilities depends on committed researchers going, if necessary, into war-torn areas in order to save and transport their resources. This narrative recounts one such journey and the system that underpins these facilities and individuals.

    • Ola T. Westengen
    • Charlotte Lusty
    • Åsmund Asdal
    Perspective
  • The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 2 encompasses targets ranging from the eradication of hunger and malnutrition to ensuring a sustainable food production system. Conflicts between these goals gives rise to gaps in our understanding that hamper attempts at evidence-based policy-making.

    • Leslie Lipper
    • Ruth DeFries
    • Livia Bizikova
    Perspective
  • This Perspective discusses the genetic approaches to study auxin signalling and the limitations due to redundancy of the major components of this pathway, namely ARFs and Aux/IAAs. The authors make a case for a renewal of genetic analyses using multiple mutants.

    • Alon Israeli
    • Jason W. Reed
    • Naomi Ori
    Perspective
  • Integrating natural selection and other organizing principles into next-generation vegetation models could render them more theoretically sound and useful for earth system applications and modelling climate impacts.

    • Oskar Franklin
    • Sandy P. Harrison
    • I. Colin Prentice
    Perspective
  • Genetically modified cotton has been used in India for 20 years, but while yield increases have received vast attention, this Perspective provides a comprehensive overview of both the inputs and outputs that correspond with those yields.

    • K. R. Kranthi
    • Glenn Davis Stone
    Perspective
  • This Perspective assesses the opportunities and challenges for synthetic biology in revolutionizing agriculture, and highlights the resources and approaches we need to remove the barriers and propel another Green Revolution.

    • Eleanore T. Wurtzel
    • Claudia E. Vickers
    • Tobias J. Erb
    Perspective
  • Herbacious grain annuals in the mid-Holocene period were typically so hard to forage and eat that their use by humans was seen as a ‘last resort’, but this Perspective argues that a switch from animal to human dispersal allowed for domestication into the crops that became the foundation for societies around the world.

    • Robert N. Spengler III
    • Natalie G. Mueller
    Perspective