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Category Archive for 'Plant Stress'

A recent story about how some of our Washington state lawmakers hate the sight of dandelions reminded me that it’s time for an encore of this post. Hope you enjoy it….again? Dandelions – Much Maligned. Some people become upset when they see dandelions (please see here, for example). Few plants generate such annoyance among suburban […]

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“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War Who Are You? How do plants distinguish “unfriendly” (a.k.a., pathogenic) microbes from “friendly” microbes (with which to form mutually beneficial partnerships, e.g.)? How do flowering plants choose their mating partners […]

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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 Plant Secrets To Plant Antibiotics What were the five most re-tweeted and favorited plant news stories that I shared in September of last year? Well, here they are, in order of popularity, lowest to highest. “Scientists from the John Innes Centre have pioneered innovative new cell imaging techniques to shed light on cells hidden […]

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From Glowing Plants to “Talking” Plants As usual, the plant news of February 2016, ranged from the molecular level to ecosystem level, from single plant cells to whole plants. And since I can’t discern any common themes, I’ll go with the stories that I “tweeted” during February of last year that were “re-tweeted+favorited” the most. […]

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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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Out-Of-Control Plants? A couple of reports in the science news a few years ago seemed to suggest that one way to cope with global climate change may be unbridled plant growth. One such report involved the discovery of a cellular regulator for the synthesis of cellulose by plant cells. The other involved plants’ natural responses […]

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You Talkin’ To Me? Dodder (genus Cuscuta) is an example of a parasitic plant. That is, it derives some or all of its nutritional requirements from another living plant. In a previous post, we saw how dodder seedlings may “sniff out” their victims. But dodder seedlings may do much more than use volatile chemicals to […]

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By 2050, What Will Be The Greatest Human Impact on Plants? I first encountered the term “anthropocene” back in 2007 when I was writing a manuscript regarding some of our research in Yellowstone National Park (see Ref. 1 below). A more detailed view regarding the nature and implications of the anthropocene is presented on YouTube […]

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Plant “Extremophiles”? Recently, I was reading about a new species of metal-eating plant discovered in the Philippines, and I discovered a new word (to me, at least). This new word is “extremophyte“. Simply put, most extremophytes are plants evolutionarily adapted to thrive in highly stressful environments. Physically stressful, that is, such as extremely high or […]

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