A report from the groves:
Mary Lu Arpaia and Eric Focht have bred avocado trees in association with the University of California, Riverside, for decades. In the video below, they describe their quest for a better avocado that resulted in the release this year of the Luna UCR™, a new variety that is the great-grandchild...
UCR releases a new avocado tree to the world marketplace
The newly release Luna UCR™ avocado offers consumers great flavor, a rind that turns a tell-tale black when ripe, while growers will benefit from a smaller tree size, allowing denser plantings for more efficient and safer harvesting.
Prescribed burns encourage foul-smelling invaders
Though prescribed burns reduce wildfire threats and even improve habitat for some animals, new research shows these fires also spread stinknet, an aptly named weed currently invading superblooms across the Southwestern U.S.
Without this, plants cannot respond to temperature
UC Riverside scientists have significantly advanced the race to control plant responses to temperature on a rapidly warming planet. Key to this breakthrough is miRNA, a molecule nearly 200,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
Landscaping for drought: we’re doing it wrong
Many Southern Californians plant trees prized for drought tolerance, but a new UC Riverside-led study shows that these trees lose this tolerance once they’re watered.
Decoding the secret language of photosynthesis
For decades, scientists have been stumped by the signals plants send themselves to initiate photosynthesis, the process of turning sunlight into sugars. UC Riverside researchers have now decoded those previously opaque signals.
Precise solar observations fed millions in ancient Mexico
Without clocks or modern tools, ancient Mexicans watched the sun to maintain a farming calendar that precisely tracked seasons and even adjusted for leap years.
The no-tech way to preserve California’s state grass
Though it is disappearing, California’s official state grass has the ability to live for 100 years or more. New research demonstrates that sheep and cattle can help it achieve that longevity.
Mexican mangroves have been capturing carbon for 5,000 years
Researchers have identified a new reason to protect mangrove forests: they’ve been quietly keeping carbon out of Earth’s atmosphere for the past 5,000 years.
Plant stress transformed into rapid tests for dangerous chemicals
UC Riverside scientists have modified proteins involved in plants’ natural response to stress, making them the basis of innovative tests for banned pesticides and deadly, synthetic cannabinoids.
New strategies to save the world’s most indispensable grain
A UC Riverside-led team has learned what happens to the roots of rice plants when they’re confronted with two types of stressful scenarios: too much water, or too little. These observations form the basis of new protective strategies.
UCR ecologists work toward post-fire rebirth of healthy landscapes
The worst fire impacts this year are predicted to hit Northern California’s higher elevation forests and Southern California’s chaparral-clad mountainous National Forest lands. To aid recovery, UC Riverside ecologists are collaborating with the US Forest Service to target these spots with new post-fire ecological restoration strategies.
Research reveals ancient Maya lessons on surviving drought
A new UC Riverside study casts doubt on drought as the driver of ancient Mayan civilization collapse.
Scientists breeding citrus tolerant of deadly disease
A $1.5 million emergency grant is enabling UC Riverside scientists to find plants impervious to a disease threatening America’s citrus fruit supply.
Scientists solve 50-year-old mystery behind plant growth
A team of researchers led by UC Riverside has demonstrated for the first time one way that a small molecule turns a single cell into something as large as a tree. For half a century, scientists have known that all plants depend on this molecule, auxin, to grow. Until now...
Scientists can switch on plants’ response to light
Scientists have figured out how plants respond to light and can flip this genetic switch to encourage food growth - even in the dark. The discovery could help increase food supply for an expanding population with shrinking opportunities for farming.
Chemical discovery gets reluctant seeds to sprout
Seeds that would otherwise lie dormant will spring to life with the aid of a new chemical discovered by a UC Riverside-led team.
Grow and eat your own vaccines?
The future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm. UC Riverside scientists are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories.
$1 million project helps tribal nations adapt to climate change
UC Riverside ecologists are leading a $1 million plant protection project that will help Southern California’s tribal nations adapt to climate change.