2016 “How Plants Work” News Highlights – December

From A Pumpkin Movie to Jimi Hendrix

Yep, the plant news from last month was quite diverse.

Let’s start with two movies – one happens over a time scale of months, and the other happens over a time scale of billionths of seconds.

  • Over the course of five months in 2014 — from a sprouting seed to a fair-ready 1,223 pound pumpkin — competitive pumpkin grower Matt Radach protected and pampered his growing plant, as captured in this time lapse video.

    Growing a 1,223 pound pumpkin from seed to scale in time lapse.

  • Using ultrafast imaging of moving energy in photosynthesis, scientists have determined the speed of crucial processes for the first time.

    First movie of energy transfer in photosynthesis solves decades-old debate.

  • As a growing plant extends its roots into the soil, the new cells that form at their tips assume different roles, from transporting water and nutrients to sensing gravity.
    A new study points to one way by which these newly-formed cells, which all contain the same DNA, take on their special identities.

    Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists.

  • Sneaky parasitic weeds may steal genes from the plants they are attacking and use those genes against the host plant, according to a team of scientists.

    Parasitic weeds may steal genes from the plants they are attacking.

  • A team of researchers has named a new, rare and endangered succulent found only in Baja California after the rock legend.”

    Jimi Hendrix lends new plant species his name.

    Thanks for all the questions and comments in 2016, and for 2017, Happy Trails!

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