Tagged: Plant Cuttings


Cyanobacteria: Good week, or bad week..? Part IV

This is the last of our quartet of blog posts looking at the newsworthy world of the blue-greens, and looks at those organisms from a different viewpoint… Cyanobacteria lighting the way for fossil fuel alternatives In an environment where light levels are reduced by atmospheric pollution blocking out the sun – such as the situation inferred in the immediate aftermath of the Chicxulub asteroid impact (Kunio Kaiho et al., 2016; Charles Bardeen et al., 2017), and which persisted for several years thereafter – the ability of photosynthetic organisms to use as wide a range of solar wavelengths as an energy...

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Cyanobacteria: Good week, or bad week..? Part III

This is the third of our quartet of posts looking at the newsworthy world of the blue-greens. Asteroids, bad for dinosaurs, but good for cyanobacteria? This really good news for cyanobacteria – both benign and bad blue-green species – comes from investigation into the consequences of the Chicxulub asteroid. This is the Yucatán Peninsula (in modern-day México)-denting phenomenon that is implicated in causing a mass extermination event, the K-T (Cretaceous-Tertiary) or, alternatively, the end-Cretaceous, or even the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) Extinction, approx. 66 millions of years ago (Ma) (Peter Schulte et al., 2010). Attention-grabbingly, and a sensationalist headline-writer’s dream come true,...

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Cyanobacteria: Good week, or bad week..? Part II

Continuing our look at the newsworthy world of the blue-greens. DOM, a double-edged sword … From a bad news point of view – bad for those ‘BBGs’ (bad blue-greens [URL for Part I]), but good for the rest of us – is work by Amanda Neilen et al. (2019) that looks at the effect of DOM (the acronym for dissolved organic matter as used in their article)* on cyanobacteria. In most scenarios DOM is a good thing adding nutrients back to the soil or water, after their temporary residence within the bodies of living things, and therefore has a life-promoting...

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Cyanobacteria: Good week, or bad week..? Part I

This is the first of what is hoped to be a series in which Mr P. Cuttings looks at a group of organisms and tries to decide whether they’ve had a good week, or a bad week. And by way of increasing the intrigue this initial instalment will be published as four separate blog posts, the first of which provides some necessary scene-setting and context. Blue-green background Cyanobacteria are intriguing organisms that appear to defy taxonomic pigeon-holing. On the one hand, they are bacteria, prokaryotic cells with a simple level of organisation with minimal internal organelles and no membrane-bound nucleus....

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Plants: where to draw the line? (or, ICBN rules, OK!?)

For years we can be happy using a word and thinking we know what it means, and presuming that everybody else also understands it in the same way. Well, what about the word ‘plants’? I realise I’m probably addressing many botanists here so we should at least be able to agree on what a plant is: but do we – and can we? Take, for instance, the name of this very column, ‘Plant Cuttings’; what is ‘plant’ in this context? Or the name of the journal in which this collection appears, the Annals of Botany (AoB). Botany is the study...

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