How Plants Work – “Greatest Hits” of 2017 – January

Happy New Year!

And the Winners Are….

For the past five years, I’ve started the new year here at the How Plants Work blog by taking a look back at the previous year’s plant-related news from my HPW Twitter feed and sharing a few of the “tastier” tidbits, month-by-month.

This year, something a bit different – rather than me picking the stories, my Twitter followers will pick them. That is, I’ll feature the most “popular” news stories per month (based on the cumulative number of “likes”and “retweets”).

From “Dancing in the Dark” to “Corpse Flowers

  • Daily cycles of light and dark provide an organizing principle and temporal constraints under which life on Earth evolved. While light is often the focus of plant studies, it is only half the story.
    Dancing in the dark: darkness as a signal in plants.
  • Phytochromes comprise one of the major photoreceptor families in plants, and they regulate many aspects of plant growth and development throughout the plant life cycle. In this review, we summarize our knowledge concerning functions of land plant phytochromes, especially in basal land plants, and discuss subfunctionalization/neofunctionalization of phytochrome signaling during the course of land plant evolution.
    Evolutionary origin of phytochrome responses and signaling in land plants.
  • Plants with a particular breeding system change their sex depending on how much light they receive, new scientific research has revealed.
    New research sheds light on why plants change sex.
  • And, by far, the most popular news item from my HPW Twitter feed in January 2017 was:

    The corpse flower takes ten years to build up enough energy to bloom, but mysteriously, dozens of them bloomed within weeks of each other in 2016.
    Lots of corpse flowers bloomed in 2016, and nobody knows why.

    Next Up: The most popular plant science news stories of February 2017.

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