Update: Plant Health News (18 May 16)

The genome of the humble carrot has finally been sequenced © cranberries (CC BY-NC-ND)
The genome of the humble carrot shows no link between their flavour and colour © cranberries (CC BY-NC-ND)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the completion of the sequencing of the carrot genome, the threat of wheat blast in Asia and the potential use of spider venom as an effective natural pesticide.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!

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Increased carbon dioxide levels in air restrict plants’ ability to absorb nutrients

1.Pollution over fields- could now be a threat to plant nutrition    (Photo by Ken Douglas )
1. Pollution over fields- could now be a threat to plant nutrition (Photo by Ken Douglas)

Contributed by Fiona Bunn

A recent study from the University of Gothenburg has shown that plants that are grown in air with a higher percentage of carbon dioxide (CO2) have reduced levels of nitrogen in their tissue, causing increased nitrogen deficiency and reduced growth. The study was conducted across four continents in large scale projects, and the plants showed the negative effects in all three major types of ecosystem: crops, grasslands and forests. The effects were even shown when fertiliser was applied, proving that CO2 restricts the plants’ ability to absorb the necessary nutrients, not the levels in the soil.  Continue reading