The Selfish Plant 3 – Self-Incompatibility and Kin Recognition

When No Really Means No (In Plants) When it comes to sexual reproduction, nearly half of all flowering plant species are self-incompatible. That is, the pollen (male parts of flowers) produced by an individual plant is somehow recognized by the plant and rendered ineffectual in self-fertilizing the ovules (female parts …

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Do Leaf Bacteria Fertilize Plants?

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 …

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Plant “Social Networks” – Is This Why Companion Planting & Inter-Cropping Work?

Plant Networking Many neighboring plants may be interconnected by an underground fungal network known as mycorrhizae. (See a previous post on the subject.) These soil fungi, called arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), are found in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems, and they form symbiotic relationships with a wide variety of plants. The …

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