New technology offers fighting chance against grapevine killer

Scientists at UC Riverside have a shot at eradicating a deadly threat to vineyards posed by the glassy-winged sharpshooter, just as its resistance to insecticide has been growing. When the half-inch-long flying insect feeds on grapevines, it transmits bacteria that causes Pierce’s Disease. Once infected, a vine is likely to die within three years —...
By Jules Bernstein |

Meet the forest microbes that can survive megafires

Burns allow fungi, bacteria to transform redwood forests. New UC Riverside research shows fungi and bacteria able to survive redwood tanoak forest megafires are microbial “cousins” that often increase in abundance after feeling the flames. Fires of unprecedented size and intensity, called megafires, are becoming increasingly common. In the West, climate change is causing rising...
By Jules Bernstein |

With dwindling water supplies, the timing of rainfall matters

A new UC Riverside study shows it’s not how much extra water you give your plants, but when you give it that counts. This is especially true near Palm Springs, where the research team created artificial rainfall to examine the effects on plants over the course of two years. This region has both winter and...
By Jules Bernstein |

How mountain streams signal climate change

A new tool can better assess an important but overlooked indicator of global warming: the variety of bugs, worms, and snails living in high mountain streams. Water-based invertebrates are especially vulnerable when the climate swings from historic droughts to massive floods. Because they serve as food for other forms of alpine life, such as birds...
By Jules Bernstein |

Why doesn’t fire kill some bacteria and fungi?

Scientists have found microbes living in the charred soil that wildfires leave behind. They don’t know how some fungi and bacteria manage to thrive when everything else has died, but a new project aims to change that. UC Riverside scientists will spend the next three years studying the traits that allow soil microbes to respond...
By Jules Bernstein |

Following rain, desert microbes exhale potent greenhouse gas

New UC Riverside research shows how, after it rains, microbes in desert soil convert one form of pollution into another — laughing gas. No laughing matter, nitrous oxide or N2O is the third most potent greenhouse gas. Scientists conducting the research were surprised to measure N2O production in the desert heat.
By Jules Bernstein |

Agricultural pest control and energy storage startups win Riverside Angel Summit

Two Riverside startups receive over $80,000 in seed capital from Citrus Seeds
By Jules Bernstein |

Black eyed peas could help eliminate need for fertilizer

Black eyed peas' ability to attract beneficial bacteria isn't diminished by modern farming practices, new UC Riverside research shows. Planting it in rotation with other crops could help growers avoid the need for costly, environmentally damaging fertilizers.
By Jules Bernstein |

Scientists breeding citrus tolerant of deadly disease

A $1.5 million emergency grant is enabling UC Riverside students to find plants impervious to a disease threatening America's citrus fruit supply.
By Jules Bernstein |

Scientists solve 50-year-old mystery behind plant growth

A team of researchers led by UC Riverside has demonstrated for the first time one way that a small molecule turns a single cell into something as large as a tree.
By Jules Bernstein |

Rising temperatures overcook bumblebees' brunch

Bumblebees pollinate many of our favorite foods, but their own diet is being upset by climate change, according to a new UC Riverside study.
By Jules Bernstein |

Chemical discovery gets reluctant seeds to sprout

Seeds that would otherwise lie dormant will spring to life with the aid of a new chemical discovered by a UC Riverside-led team. Plants have the ability to perceive drought. When they do, they emit a hormone that helps them hold on to water. This same hormone, ABA, sends a message to seeds that it...
By Jules Bernstein |
Hummingbirds can smell their way out of danger

Hummingbirds can smell their way out of danger

In less time than it takes to read this sentence, hummingbirds can catch a whiff of potential trouble. That’s the result of new UC Riverside research showing, contrary to popular belief, the tiny birds do have an active sense of smell. Researchers have known for some time that vultures have a highly sensitive sense of...
By Jules Bernstein |
Salton Sea restoration efforts could fail without science

Salton Sea restoration efforts could fail without science

There are finally efforts underway to improve the environmental health disaster that is the Salton Sea — California’s largest and most polluted lake. However, a group of UC Riverside scientists, engineers, medical experts, and economists has published a new report warning that these efforts may not succeed. The report warns that the scientific assumptions informing...
By Jules Bernstein |

Study shows common insecticide is harmful in any amount.

A new UC Riverside study shows that a type of insecticide made for commercial plant nurseries is harmful to a typical bee even when applied well below the label rate. The study has now been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Chemically similar to nicotine, neonicotinoids are insecticides that...
By Jules Bernstein |

Fruit fly offers lessons in good taste.

What can the fruit fly teach us about taste and how chemicals cause our taste buds to recognize sweet, sour, bitter, umami, and salty tastes? Quite a lot, according to University of California, Riverside, researchers who have published a study exploring the insect’s sense of taste. “Insect feeding behavior directly impacts humans in many ways...
By Iqbal Pittalwala |

Modified yeast inhibits fungal growth in plants.

About 70-80% of crop losses due to microbial diseases are caused by fungi. Fungicides are key weapons in agriculture’s arsenal, but they pose environmental risks. Over time, fungi also develop a resistance to fungicides, leading growers on an endless quest for new and improved ways to combat fungal diseases. The latest development takes advantage of...
By Holly Ober |

Decoded genome of little-known disease offers hope for citrus.

Scientists are hoping the RNA of an obscure can only be used like a Trojan-horse to deliver life-saving treatments to citrus trees. The infection, citrus yellow vein disease, was discovered 64 years ago in Riverside and has never been seen elsewhere in the world. Decades later, UC Riverside researchers have finally unraveled the associated pathogen’s...
By Jules Bernstein |

Tiny tomatoes could mean big profits for urban agriculture.

Urban agriculture offers many benefits for food production but often has higher costs relative to traditional farming and is limited to only a few crops. Robert Jinkerson, an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at UC Riverside, is working to change this by engineering the size and nutritional value of tomato plants to increase...
By Holly Ober |

Discovery increases likelihood of growing food despite drought.

University of California scientists have discovered genetic data that will help food crops like tomatoes and rice survive longer, more intense periods of drought on our warming planet. Over the course of the last decade, the research team sought to create a molecular atlas of crop roots, where plants first detect the effects of drought...
By Jules Bernstein |
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