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Fundamental bioscience news

A team of scientists led by Dr Pierre-Marc Delaux of the John Innes Centre has solved a long-running mystery about the first stages of plant life on earth. The team of scientists from the John Innes Centre, the University of Wisconsin – Madison and other international collaborators, has discovered how an ancient alga was able to inhabit land, before it went on to evolve into the world’s first plant and colonise the earth.

Scientists have discovered the cells driving the annual body clock in animals which adapts their body to the changing seasons. The BBSRC-funded team from The Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh reveal that cells in a structure called the ‘pars tuberalis’ – which is situated in the pituitary gland – there are specialised cells that respond according how much daylight there is, providing an internal genetic calendar for the animal.

Rothamsted Research scientists have used a method for propagating willow free of disease, in a shorter time, with less labour compared to traditional willow breeding. The method, a form of micro-propagation, produced more plants which were free of disease compared to traditional willow breeding methods.