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Category Archive for 'Plant Signaling'

The disclaimer: This is not meant to be an exhaustive review of the recent literature regarding abscission in plants. Instead, think of this as a selection of “recent highlights” (my opinion) in the study of abscission. Let’s focus on three steps of abscission: (1) the development of the abscission zone (AZ), (2) the signals that […]

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“..And all the leaves on the trees are falling To the sound of the breezes that blow…”- Van Morrison How Can I Miss You, If You Won’t Go Away? Ah, November in the Pacific Northwest, when the autumn leaves are being scoured from the trees by blustery winds and driving rain,… and a plant physiologist’s […]

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Plants “Stink” One of the really cool things about plants, which I think most people don’t realize, is that they emit many kinds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some of these VOCs we can smell, such as flower fragrances and pine scents. But many, such as the plant hormone ethylene, may either have no odor […]

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Amazing, Amusing, & Surprizing A couple of weeks ago I was perusing the online edition of Wired magazine and spotted the following headline: “The Internet of Vegetables: How Cyborg Plants Can Monitor Our World”. With a title like this, how could I not click on the headline and read the article? (Please see link #1 […]

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Seeking The Light Being light-powered lifeforms, most green plants seek out the sunlight and avoid the shade. But being sessile organisms, plants can not uproot themselves and mosey from the shade into the sun. Because they are stuck in the same spot all of their lives, plants have apparently evolved ways to maximize their light […]

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m4s0n501 What’s New In Plant Neurobiology? We’ve had a pretty nice summer here in the upper left-hand corner of the USA. Consequently, I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors, away from my office. But now that the weather is turning cooler, wetter, and more like fall, I’ve had a chance to catch up on what’s […]

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“It’s Through The Wire…” Most plants in the wild are interconnected via common mycorrhizal networks (CMN) . The “Wood-Wide-Web” and Plant “Social Networks” are two previous posts that explore one of the most intriguing – and frustrating – subjects in plant biology. Intriguing, because vascular land plants likely owe their existence to mycorrhizae. Frustrating, because […]

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The Sperm & Egg Tango In a paper published in the 23 November 2012 issue of Science magazine (Ref 1 below), Dr. Stephanie Sprunck and Prof. Dr. Thomas Dresselhaus and colleagues report a major finding regarding the cellular nature of sexual reproduction in plants. Specifically, they have been studying gamete interaction during fertilization in the […]

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Use Your Houseplants As TV Remotes? Using sophisticated sensing technology, Disney researchers, along with collaborators in Japan and Germany, displayed this interactive plant technology at the 2012 SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles, California (August 5-9, 2012). Links to more information: Disney Research website PDF of Etech Abstract

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Is There a Single Flower-Inducing Pathway? It’s well known that “florigen” is the signal that triggers the transition from vegetative to reproductive development in plants that flower in response to photoperiod. But some plants, for example the “Night-Neutral” (a.k.a., “Day-Neutral”) plants, apparently initiate flowering because of factors other than night length. In plants that flower […]

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