Tag Archives: plants

How Dust can help control Climate Change

Research by a University of Oklahoma scientist could lead to novel way to fight climate change. It has to do with dust.

Dr. Gerilyn Soreghan, courtesy University of Oklahoma

Dr. Gerilyn Soreghan, courtesy University of Oklahoma

Dr. Gerilyn Soreghan and a team of researchers from the University of California Riverside, Florida State University, University of Leeds, Hampton University, and Cornell University have been looking at some really old, iron-rich dust deposits. Like 300-million year old dust from the late Paleozoic period.

(I’ve talked with Dr. Soreghan before, click here and here to learn more about her.)

Dr. Soreghan says Earth’s atmosphere was as dusty as it has ever been 300 million years ago. She says it’s important to study those dust deposits because of the impact they had back then on Earth’s climate.

Here’s why: dust carries iron- iron is a fertilizer for plants- plants use photosynthesis-photosynthesis removes carbon from the atmosphere and replaces it with oxygen.

Dr. Soreghan says deep-time dust contained a lot of iron which means it “…should have even larger consequences for burial of carbon.” As for the modern day, there’s talk of iron fertilization as a geoengineering scheme to control the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

Dr. Soreghan says her study on deep-time events shines a light on how those types of geoengineering endeavors may work in the present day but, she says, more research is needed.

You can read more on the study in this brief write-up by Dr. Soreghan or here where the Geological Society of America has published an article. The National Science Foundation and American Chemical Society funded the research.

 

 

OK Researchers Study Plant Development

Some Oklahoma scientists are teaming with a Michigan State University scientist to study if plants can overcome a nutrient-poor environment. Here are the three scientists who are heading up the project. Be sure to click on page 2 for a news release from the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore with a detailed explanation of the project.

Noble Foundation researchers Wolf Scheible, Ph.D. (center), Michael Udvardi, Ph.D. (left), and Patrick X. Zhao, Ph.D. (right), in collaboration with Michigan State University recently received a four-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Noble Foundation researchers Wolf Scheible, Ph.D. (center), Michael Udvardi, Ph.D. (left), and Patrick X. Zhao, Ph.D. (right), in collaboration with Michigan State University recently received a four-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

OK Research to Improve Agriculture

Researchers in Oklahoma are looking at ways to make crops more efficient and improve agriculture. It’s being done by scientists at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore along with scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and the Spanish National Biotechnology Center.

The research showed that mRNA molecules (or messenger RNA because they carry genetic information) are extremely mobile and travel throughout the plant.

Noble Foundation scientists Monica Rojas-Triana (left) and Scheible, Ph.D. (right), are working with colleagues from Germany and Spain on the discovery of messenger RNA mobility.

Noble Foundation scientists Monica Rojas-Triana (left) and Wolf Scheible, Ph.D. (right), are working with colleagues from Germany and Spain on the discovery of messenger RNA mobility.

It reshapes a common perception of fundamental plant function,” said Wolf Scheible, Ph.D., professor and leader of the Noble Foundation’s part in the collaborative effort with the German Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and the Spanish National Biotechnology Center. “This is an exciting find, one that might turn out to be a game changer for developing more efficient crop plants and advancing agriculture.

This is just one more example of how Oklahoma scientists work with researchers from around the world and are on the cutting edge of science.

Click the the number 2 below to read the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation news release.