Welcome to a couple of “Dibbles and Bits” at Plant Exchange blog. The first is about the origin of tomatoes, followed by what influences the Ginkgo tree to live so long.
The quest for the tastiest and then largest tomato is part of the garden season lore.
Finding the “roots” of tomatoes may help in tracing the tomato of our dreams.
Biologists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have traced tomato lineage from today’s tomato back to its origins in South America, where the fruit was the size of a blueberry. A wild, weed-like form of Solanum pimpinellifolium (SP) found in Mexico today has many traits found in domesticated tomatoes. From Science Daily reviewed by The American Gardener, March/April 2020.
Why Do Ginkgo Trees Live So Long?
Trees are among the longest-lived organisms on Earth. The tree Ginkgo biloba is planted locally in yards, and specimens thousands of years old have been found. What affects plant aging and causes death?
Researchers in China reported to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that thin cores from 34 Ginkgo trees of various ages in China were studied for what makes them live so long. Growth ring observations showed that the trees did not slow growth rate after hundreds of years. Sometimes their growth rate increased. Leaf size, quality of seeds, and photosynthetic ability did not vary by age. They did not find differences in the tree cambium that stimulates cell growth.
Old Ginkgos and younger Ginkgo trees have the same molecular structure and capacity for growth. Ginkgos are more likely to die from plant disease or pests, soil issues such as compaction, or drought, than old age. From The American Gardener, March/April 2020