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Category Archive for 'The Neighbors'

“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 Where Potatoes Came From to Where Agriculture Is Going Last November the plant research news ranged from the past history of one of our most important crop plants to the future of agriculture in the 21st century. November is the month of Thanksgiving in the USA, and one common feature of today’s Thanksgiving feasts […]

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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 A New Look At Lichens To A Moss Surprise July 2016 seemed to be a time to rethink several long-held presumptions about lichens and chloroplasts. A couple of plant research news reports changed the way we look at symbiotic plants and photosynthesis. “For over 140 years, lichens have been regarded as a symbiosis between […]

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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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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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The “Inside” Story? An article in Science magazine (see Ref. 1 below) reports evidence supporting the hypothesis that leaf-dwelling, nitrogen-fixing bacteria may provide host plants with significant amounts of nitrogen. In the past, we briefly explored the microbial phyllosphere, that is, the microbes – including nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria – that dwell on the surfaces of plant […]

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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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“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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