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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2016 “How Plants Work” News Highlights – September

From Plant Secrets To Plant Antibiotics What were the five most re-tweeted and favorited plant news stories that I shared in September of last year? Well, here they are, in order of popularity, lowest to highest. “Scientists from the John Innes Centre have pioneered innovative new cell imaging techniques to …

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“Extremophytes” – Plants With Weird and Fascinating Properties

Plant “Extremophiles”? Recently, I was reading about a new species of metal-eating plant discovered in the Philippines, and I discovered a new word (to me, at least). This new word is “extremophyte“. Simply put, most extremophytes are plants evolutionarily adapted to thrive in highly stressful environments. Physically stressful, that is, …

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