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Category Archive for 'Plant Signaling'

From Flowers That Smell Like Stressed Bees To Corn That Smells Like “Help Me!” October 2016 seemed to feature an unusual number of quirky plant news stories. For example, we previously saw an orchid that smelled like body odor, presumably to attract mosquitos. Now here’s another weird flower smell… “A new discovery takes plants’ deception […]

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From Cancer-Fighting Plants To Cadmium-Sniffing Moss Sadly, those who teach classes about plant physiology often feel the need to justify why plants are important. That’s how I usually began the first lecture in my Botany and Plant Physiology courses back in the day when I was boring undergraduate students. Most of these students could appreciate […]

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Happy New Year! Since 2012, here at the “How Plants Work” blog, I’ve ended the year by taking a look back at the plant-research news from my HPW Twitter feed over the past twelve months, and then sharing a few of the “tastier” tidbits, month-by-month. So, welcome to the fifth-annual review of plant research news […]

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numb (adjective): “devoid of sensation; insensible” Pain in the Ash? In the previous post, I posed the question whether or not plants experienced something analogous to pain when physically wounded. I concluded that they did….depending on how one defines “pain”. At the present time, when even academic biologists are expanding the meanings of “know”, “feel”, […]

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Feelin’ No Pain? An amazing short story, entitled “The Sound Machine”, by the British writer Roald Dahl was first published in the September 17, 1949 issue of the New Yorker. In this story, “A man named Klausner invents a machine that can hear sound the human ear cannot hear. It reproduces the sounds on a […]

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Why Do Flowers Smell? A couple of the most common questions that people have about flowers are: (1) Why do flowers have scents? and (2) Why do many flowers smell good to us? The first question is fairly easy to answer, but the second one is a bit trickier to try to answer. The short […]

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Slurping Sugars The main reason for pruning plants is to stimulate the growth of axillary buds, a.k.a., lateral buds. (Please see previous post.) But why is the growth of axillary buds stimulated by cutting off the terminal (or apical) bud? The most common explanation of this is the long-known, and somewhat confounding, phenomenon called “apical […]

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Are Plants Smarter Than Smartphones? We’re back for Round 2 of the iPhone vs. plant rematch: Which is more intelligent, an iPhone 6 or a plant? If you missed Rematch, Round 1, here it is. (I think the iPhone 6 clearly took the first round.) By the way, this contest mainly has to do with […]

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iPhone Versus Plant – Rematch

Which Is More “Intelligent”? A few years ago, when the iPhone 4 was first introduced by Steve Jobs, I mused on Which is more intelligent? An iPhone or a plant? Over the course five successive posts, we explored most of the iPhone’s different sensors and compared analogous environmental sensors in plants. And, in the end, […]

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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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