The Selfish Plant 2 – “Self” & “Non-Self” Perception: Plant-Microbe Interactions

“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…

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2016 “How Plants Work” News Highlights – October

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…

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Comfortably Numb? – When Wounded, Do Plants Experience “Pain”?

Feelin’ No Pain? An amazing short story, entitled “The Sound Machine”, by the British writer Roald Dahl was first published in the September 17, 1949 issue of the New Yorker. In this story, “A man named Klausner invents a machine that can hear sound the human ear cannot hear. It…

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How Pruning Works – More New Evidence Regarding the Curious Case of Apical Dominance

Slurping Sugars The main reason for pruning plants is to stimulate the growth of axillary buds, a.k.a., lateral buds. (Please see previous post.) But why is the growth of axillary buds stimulated by cutting off the terminal (or apical) bud? The most common explanation of this is the long-known, and…

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