Plant Biology
Plant Biology
To match human population growth, world agricultural production must double over the next quarter century. At Salk, we study plants so that humans will have the food, clothing, energy and medicines they need now and in the future.

Plant Biology


The best offense is a great defense for some carnivorous plants

Insect-eating plants have fascinated biologists for more than a century, but how plants evolved the ability to capture and consume live prey has largely remained a mystery. Professor Joanne Chory, Staff Scientist Carl Procko, and colleagues from Washington University in St. Louis have found evidence that plant carnivory evolved from mechanisms plants use to defend themselves. The findings broaden scientists’ understanding of how plants interact with their environments.

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Nature Communications

Light and temperature work together to affect plant growth

Plants lengthen and bend to secure access to sunlight, yet scientists do not fully understand this process. Professor Joanne Chory, first author Yogev Burko, and colleagues have discovered that two plant factors—the protein PIF7 and the growth hormone auxin—are the triggers that accelerate growth when plants are shaded by canopy and exposed to warm temperatures at the same time. The findings will help scientists increase crop productivity despite the yield-harming global temperature rise.

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