12

The short answer: Fruits are large compared to seeds because humans have made them large. In the natural environment, there is a different set of evolutionary pressures. A fruit has to be able to successfully propagate itself using its seeds, while commercially farmed fruit is usually cloned via vegetative propagation. Therefore, the commercial farmed ...


4

I know this response is coming a bit late but in case you're still curious I have a response! I'm a M.Sc. student working in Agricultural entomology in Northern Canada (between 55 and 59 degrees North). You are correct, up at more Northern latitudes our short growing season mainly limits what crops we can grow, but less so our yield. We are also restricted ...


4

Yes, the potato clock will work when still in the ground, but it won't work any better than a potato removed from the ground. Potato batteries are awesome and cool projects, but they often convey the wrong concept. The energy produced from a potato battery is not from the substance, nutrients, or sugars of the potato, but rather via the galvanic action of ...


3

Each species of flowering plant produces a set number of floral parts, more or less. Having three styles and three stigmas per flower is a trait that is determined genetically. Mutations can cause floral parts to be duplicated. Heirloom tomatoes have mutations in the fascicated and locule-number genes, resulting in more locules being produced per fruit. ...


3

Placing copper on one side of the potato and zinc on the other will not "suck the energy out of the potato". the energy in the potato NEVER gets converted into electricity. The metals do all the work, just using the potato as a wet sponge. Now, it would probably kill the potato though, because of all the ions that are there that shouldn't be there (zn and ...


3

It looks like that yeast has been engineered to produce starch. First of all, the authors had to knock out the genes responsible for the glycogen metabolism pathway (both glycolysis and gluconeogenesis). Then they introduced eight genes known to belong to the amylopectin biosynthetic pathway. The authors succeeded in having starch granules in yeast. You ...


2

This is a big idea that's gaining momentum in many people's minds across the world. This is a brief and probably inadequate survey and hopefully other answers / comments will fill out a better picture. Most of the plans to reclaim arid regions are not completely hands off. It seems that the current thinking is that if we waited for microbes and lichen to ...


2

This is specific to navel oranges, which have a conjoined twin fruit. This blog gives an account of this.


2

Mycorrhizal fungi are often used in small-scale agriculture for just that reason. If you search mycorrhizae on amazon they sell it by the tub. I think its especially used in organic gardening for just what you said, the slightly less-processed organic fertilizers are harder to take up by plants without their mycorrhizae partners. I'm not sure about how ...


2

Agave is more closely related to asparagus and hyacinths than to cactus. They are perrenial, you can harvest the lowest half of the leaves to make it look like a little palm tree, it will die after flowering, it takes 10-15 years to flower.


2

When harvesting agave nectar, generally the whole plant is harvested at once to get to the core, where most of the sap is. There isn't exactly an easy way to continually get nectar from the agave plant since it is herbaceous, whereas something like maple trees can be tapped because the wood can support the spigot.


2

Locusts have been harvested in Thailand and Australia they call them sky-prawns. They deep-fry them and consume them happily. http://www.bugsfeed.com/locust http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i3246e/i3246e.pdf In Thailand Orthoptera or grasshoppers include Patanga succincta, Locusta migratoria, Acrida sp., Cyrtacanthacris tatarica and Oxya japonica japonica (...


1

Yes. It's quite common, to the degree that it's done by some hobbyist plant breeders. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryo_rescue However, AFAIK (I'm not an expert), it wouldn't be done for raising multitudes of plants, like tissue culture. Rather, it's used in hybridization, where you hope to produce hybrids from plants that don't readily hybridize. You ...


1

The process of genetically modifying crops is performed in a lab. Genes would not leak into planted organic crops from compost any more than they would move from decomposing soil nematodes, earthworms, or manure. So no, organic plants would not be genetically modified. However, the labeling of a crop as "organic" is not always standardized, so it could be a ...


1

According to this document (pdf) the rate is around 700 lb seed per 500 lb of fibre. seed = 1·4 × fibre 230 kg fibre ≅ 320 kg seed (Strangely, the rate has fallen over time.)


1

Modern grass crops (cereals) haven't run out in the wild is because that was the whole purpose of their development. What differs them from their wild counterparts are the domestication traits, like, seed shattering, uniform maturity, day length sensitivity etc. Modern grass based crops are significantly superior to wild grasses, they grow faster, are ...


1

This may have no correlation to your project but many insecticides, bacteriocides, and herbicides need a "solvent" or "transfer medium" such as water to be effective. Even when using ethanol in the laboratory against a variety of bacteria 100% ethanol becomes almost ineffective. I would take a look at running round-up again by itself versus 95% roundup 5% ...


1

One of the main contributors to inbreeding depression are recessive lethal alleles. Suppose you have an individual who has the genotype Aa, where A is the dominant, non-lethal allele and a is the recessive lethal allele. This recessive lethal allele is likely very rare in the population (selection would decrease the frequency of a recessive lethal allele), ...


1

Because seeds are not appealing to animals and they can only be carried by animals if they are made appealing - there are exceptions of course such as this one -. Seeds are covered with juicy layers that can be nutrient to animals in order to be made appealing and to be dispersed. Animals eat those juicy layers along with seeds, seeds resist digestion and ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible