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.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

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.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

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.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

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.

By David Danelski | | Science / Technology

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.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

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.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

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...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

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.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

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.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

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.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

$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.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

UCR ecologist on geoengineering: a new solution to the climate crisis

As many gather for Earth Day 2021, A UC Riverside ecologist urges caution toward solar geoengineering, an increasingly popular solution to the climate crisis.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Discovery is key to creating heat-tolerant crops

By 2050 global warming could reduce crop yields by one-third. UC Riverside researchers have identified a gene that could put the genie back in the bottle.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

$1.7 million grant to unlock barley’s genetic superpowers

Barley is important for more than beer. A UC Riverside geneticist has won $1.7 million to study how one of the world’s staple foods might survive climate change.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Parasitic plants conspire to keep hosts alive

The plant that encourages kissing at Christmas is in fact a parasite, and new research reveals mistletoe has an unusual feeding strategy. When two mistletoes invade the same tree, they increase photosynthesis to get the nutrients they need, essentially sharing the tree and causing it less harm.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

The first human settlers on islands caused extinctions

Though some believe prehistoric humans lived in harmony with nature, a new UC Riverside analysis of fossils shows human arrival in the Bahamas caused some birds to be lost from the islands and other species to be completely wiped out.

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

New book explains DNA for curious nonscientists

After 50 years of research, UC Riverside geneticist Alan McHughen knows what DNA can and can't do. Now, he's written a book so that the rest of us can understand too. He couldn’t foresee when he wrote the book that the topic would gain additional importance with the outbreak of...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Scientists unlock genetic secrets of wine growers’ worst enemy

Following a decade-long effort, scientists have mapped out the genome of an aphid-like pest capable of decimating vineyards. In so doing, they have discovered how it spreads — and potentially how to stop it. The research team’s work on the genome was published this past week in a BMC Biology...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology

Biologists unravel tangled mystery of plant cell growth

When cells don’t divide into proper copies of themselves, living things fail to grow as they should. For the first time, scientists now understand how a protein called TANGLED1 can lead to accurate cell division in plants. Inside cells are structures called microtubules, which act like highways for moving proteins...

By Jules Bernstein | | Science / Technology