Much of the plant news in July 2014 seemed to come in pairs.
There were a pair of stories involving “vibrations”, a pair about plant development in 3D, and a pair about plants “cleaning” the environment.
So, of course, the tasty news tidbits for the seventh month of 2014 will be served up in pairs.
First, at the macro level…Plant scientists have known for decades that plants respond to mechanical stimulations, such as wind, raindrops, etc. (see thigmomorphogenesis, for example). But can plants actually detect and respond to mechanical stimulations by insects?
Apparently so. For example, see Plants respond to leaf vibrations caused by chewing insects.
And for plant vibrations at the molecular level: “Biophysics researchers at the University of Michigan have used short pulses of light to peer into the mechanics of photosynthesis and illuminate the role that molecule vibrations play in the energy conversion process that powers life on our planet.”
Read how this work not only adds to our understanding of photosynthesis, but also may help improve solar panel design at: Deep within spinach leaves, vibrations enhance efficiency of photosynthesis.
The 3-dimensional (3D) imaging of developing plants has greatly contributed to achieving this quest. The results of two such studies were reported in July 2014:
The first: Flower development in 3D: Timing is the key.
And the second: Plants grown in a microscope reveal root development.
Read about it at: First national study finds trees saving lives, reducing respiratory problems.
On Menu #8: Old seeds, “genetically-edited” fruit, and more….
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