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Volume 3 Issue 2, February 2017

Weighting palms

Fruits of the palm Mauritia flexuosa are used as food by Amazonian cultures. Understanding which traits are linked to particular human needs reveals the processes that underpin ecosystem service realization.

See Nature Plants 3, 16220 (2016).

Image: R. Cámara-Leret    Cover Design: L. Heslop


  • For millennia, Chinese knowledge of agriculture and crop breeding influenced the whole world. After an extended period of introspection, Chinese plant biology is once again establishing global eminence.



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Comment & Opinion

  • In 1916, Swedish geologist Ernst Jakob Lennart von Post delivered a provocative lecture in Oslo, Norway, advocating the use of pollen grains in bog sediments as indicators of past vegetation and climate. The lecture spawned many applications and represents a landmark in multidisciplinary science.

    • Kevin J. Edwards
    • Ralph M. Fyfe
    • Stephen T. Jackson
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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • Phosphorus removal during grain harvest creates severe challenges for sustainable agriculture. Modification of a phosphorus transporter provides a potential strategy to tackle this problem.

    • Bin Hu
    • Chengcai Chu
    News & Views
  • Carnivory, the ability of plants to attract, catch, kill and digest insects to obtain nutrients, has evolved independently several times in plant evolution. A comprehensive analysis of the genome, transcriptome and proteome of prey digestion in a pitcher plant shows how carnivory in plants is the product of convergent evolution.

    • Axel Mithöfer
    News & Views
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