The secret life of plants

For decades, scientists and crop protection companies have employed a straightforward approach to fight weeds, diseases and insects. Step one: find a chemical that controls a particular pest in a crop. Step two: convince farmers to spray the chemical on the crop. While chemistry remains the go-to solution for crop protection, a different form of […] Read more

Why don’t plants get sunburned?

Much like a five-year-old with red hair, it turns out plants also need sun protection. Researchers at the University of Purdue now understand how plants produce their own sunscreen. Tim Zwier, a chemistry professor at Purdue, determined that crops and other plants use a group of molecules called sinapate esters to block harmful ultraviolet radiation. […] Read more